nourish hub by RCKa 

 

architecture practice RCKa has converted an empty post office in west london into a colorful community kitchen and mixed-use workspace. named ‘nourish hub’, the refurbished space is a place where local people can come together, eat well, and learn new skills.

 

RCKa says, ‘the hub offers a number of opportunities for residents from every background to get involved and to help build local skills and knowledge; from employment in the catering industry to volunteering opportunities, skill-sharing and cooking classes.’

 

nourish hub opened in summer 2021 and it’s currently being operated by non-profit charity UK harvest. after three years, the hub will be handed over to the community to run.

RCKa turns vacant post office into community food hub in london
images by francisco ibáñez hantke

 

 

community-centered design

 

from inception to completion, RCKa focused on getting the local community involved in the project and engendering a sense of long-term ownership. the first step was to raise awareness of the hub, which the team did by hosting a community ‘paint & planting’ day. residents helped paint the old shopfront shutters with a yellow and green mural designed by graphic designer bandiera. 

 

‘the activity on site encouraged passers-by to stop and speak with the team, providing opportunities for conversations with local residents and helping make contact with the wider community,’ explain the architects.

RCKa turns vacant post office into community food hub in london
the nourish hub opened in summer 2021

 

 

the next step was a day of food and cooking lessons, where people were asked to write down their favorite recipe in exchange for a free meal and freshly sourced herbs. in addition to stimulating interaction with the community, this provided a better idea of the local food culture and residents’ diverse backgrounds. the recipes were used to develop a visual identity for nourish hub that reflects the community. the dishes will also be published in a recipe book 

 

a local youth center was involved in creating the graphic identity for the nourish hub interior through two branding workshops. the kids created graphic designs from fruit and vegetables. one of the designs is painted on the final nourish hub ceiling. the rest of the interior is bright and colorful, with shades of red, yellow and green throughout. there’s also a large window to the kitchen that establishes an open and inviting atmosphere.

RCKa turns vacant post office into community food hub in london
after three years, the hub will be handed over to the community

RCKa turns vacant post office into community food hub in london
the ceiling features a large graphic design created by local kids

RCKa turns vacant post office into community food hub in london
the nourish hub is a place to eat well, connect, and learn new skills

RCKa turns vacant post office into community food hub in london
green and yellow accents decorate the street elevation

RCKa turns vacant post office into community food hub in london
the space used to be a post office

 

 

1/2
RCKa turns vacant post office into community food hub in london
 
RCKa turns vacant post office into community food hub in london
 

project info:

 

name: nourish hub

location: london, UK

architecture: RCKa