Jewish Community Centre

London’s first Jewish Community Centre: “a new postcode for Jewish Life”

Kick-started and backed by philanthropist Dame Vivien Duffield, all eyes were on BAM as we turned architect Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands (known for regenerating the Southbank)’s design of JW3 — the first inclusive London Jewish Community Centre — into reality.

The 10,600m2 centre hosts a variety of activities from banquets to cookery lessons and from dance classes to film screenings. So the design had to accommodate flexible use of spaces.

The ground floor includes a multi-purpose hall (seating up to 270 using retractable seating), a 60-seat cinema and a café, bar and restaurant. A large, sliding acoustic partition means the restaurant can be separated from the hall without noise disturbance.

Further up the four-storey building are bespoke spaces for a resource centre, drama and dance studios, arts and crafts studios, learning and meeting spaces, a demonstration kitchen, offices and an 85-place nursery.

We also built a 1,800m2 residential tower that houses 14 two-bed apartments and an office level. The sale of the apartments helped fund the building of the community centre.
“A vibrant destination for London, open to all who have an interest in Jewish life"

Dame Vivien Duffield

English philanthropist

Breathing space in the heart of the city

A 1,000m2 sunken piazza provides external space which is secluded from Finchley Road. Works here included hard landscaping, construction of a pedestrian bridge and soft planting.

The BREEAM Excellent rated building includes an innovative natural ventilation system to minimise cooling and heating loads, a brown roof, water harvesting and photovoltaic cells. A large-scale mock-up of the super-smooth fairface concrete was constructed to set a benchmark for quality.

Celebrating Jewish culture

The high profile project was inspired by the Jewish Community Centre in Manhattan.

“The centre will make Jews talk differently about being Jewish in an exciting way,” says JW3 CEO Raymond Simonson.

The complex mechanical and electrical installation included technology to comply with Shabbat controls, which prevent orthodox Jews from operating electricity-triggering switches such as lights and lifts on the Sabbath and Jewish holidays. As a result we made alterations to our building system control plans, then submitted them for approval by a specialist religious institute in Israel.