Holborn House



  • checkMulti-Purpose Sports Hall


6a architects x Caragh Thuring (Great Things Lie Ahead 2020)


V A Hutchison Flooring Ltd.


United Kingdom



6a architects x Caragh Thuring Great Things Lie Ahead (2020)

A community space in the heart of central London has been completely transformed and by 6a architects.

The new building, incorporating an old basement gymnasium, is home to Holborn Community Association, has a 100-year history which has been sensitively referenced in artwork created by artist Caragh Thuring on the façade of the building.

What was solely an old basement gymnasium has been rebuilt as a light-filled, naturally ventilated, low energy space, extending upwards with two new public-facing floors.

6a architects specified Junckers solid Oak Harmony Driftwood Grey two-strip flooring, a pale shade of grey.

Suitable for multi-purpose use, the sprung floor fitted in the gym as well as in the club rooms, will enable the community centre to maximise earnings through hires, being able to offer a safe space for everything from various sports to arts and social events. Said Stephanie Macdonald of 6a architects: “The floor looks fantastic and really unusual, a beautiful warmth of timber and colour for the gym and the clubrooms which is going to allow them to be used equally well for hires and events - a really beautiful set of spaces for community use”.

Throughout the building, an emphasis on pale, light-reflecting colours and materials minimises reliance on artificial lighting. The light-coloured Junckers Driftwood Grey Oak provides the centre with a durable floor which helps maximise natural light levels. It can be sanded and refinished up to ten times without loss of performance and will serve the centre well for 60 years plus.

Junckers floors carry the Danish Indoor Climate Label, which is recognised by BREEAM. Having undergone extensive degassing and odour testing to ensure there are no harmful chemicals, a Junckers floor will help maintain a healthy indoor climate.

Stirling Prize nominated 6a architects worked closely with Thuring whose artwork features throughout the architecture.

For the etched glass façade which runs the width and height of the building Thuring drew on stories from the community and local area which are inscribed onto the glass alongside irregular mortar lines of the original brickwork.
For the gymnasium, Thuring created a bespoke woven fabric, echoing the brickwork motif of the façade, which lines the acoustics panels on the upper walls.

The flooring contractor was Junckers Approved Contractor V A Hutchison Flooring Ltd.

Photo: Johan Dehlin, courtesy 6a architects