Jewish Community Centre, North London Building, Finchley Road Project, JCC Hub

Jewish Community Centre London

Finchley Road Building, Hampstead, UK – design by Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands

7 Oct 2011

Jewish Community Centre

Mayor of London breaks ground at the capital’s new Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands-designed Jewish Community Centre

Address: 341-351 Finchley Rd, London NW3 6ET

Phone: 020 7433 8989

Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, joined cultural philanthropist Dame Vivien Duffield today at the Groundbreaking Ceremony for the new Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands-designed Jewish Community Centre on the Finchley Road in Hampstead, North London.

Jewish Community Centre on Finchley Road – design:
Jewish Community Centre London Jewish Community Centre London
images © Visualhouse

When it opens in 2013, the 35,000 sq ft state-of-the-art building will be the first purpose-built Jewish Community Centre in the capital, catering for events and activities for all ages and invigorating Jewish life in London and providing an excellent amenity to people in the local area.

The Centre is the brainchild of Dame Vivien who was inspired by her visit to similar community centres in America. Like those centres London’s Community Centre building will accessible to all.

Alex Lifschutz, Director at Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands, said: “Flexibility is at the heart of our design for the Jewish Community Centre. Accommodating a wide range of activities, this will be a truly multi-purpose building for a multi-cultural community and capital city.

The pavilion and piazza will create a visual landmark set back from the busy Finchley Road that is destined to become a vibrant hub for anyone interested in Jewish life and culture.”

Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands’ design provides a flexible three-storey Community Centre, a generous open piazza and a residential block of 14 two-bedroom flats.

The ground floor of the Community Centre contains a 60-seat film screening and lecture room, workshop space and a large multi-purpose hall and kosher café, which both open onto a sheltered piazza.

A bridge at street level spans over the piazza, providing a dramatic entrance to the first floor of the main pavilion from Finchley Road, whilst the piazza can be entered directly from Lymington Road to the south.

The first floor houses community spaces, including a demonstration kitchen, rehearsal and dance studios, meeting rooms and learning spaces. A nursery will occupy the entire second floor within a high quality environment with its own private terrace for outdoor play.

By locating services to the rear of the building, a level of flexibility is achieved on each floor. Internally, lighting and soft architecture define the use of each area, which is reflected in variations in the external facade. The scheme will feature natural ventilation, a brown roof to encourage biodiversity, rainwater harvesting and solar panels.

The Jewish Community Centre will be a place full of action, creation and output rather than passive observation of culture. With the principle of inclusiveness at its heart, together with the Camden Arts Centre opposite, the Centre forms an arts hub that will revive cultural activities in the area.

Jewish Community Centre Groundbreaking with London Mayor, Boris Johnson:
Jewish Community Centre London
photograph : Jeremy Coleman

Speaking at the Groundbreaking ceremony Boris Johnson said: “This wonderful building will be a fitting home for London’s Jewish Community, as well as an excellent new centre for Londoners of all faiths. An outstanding example of a community coming together to make things better for the whole city, this is Team London in action – our own programme to harness thousands of volunteers to improve quality of life in the capital – and I hope it will inspire other Londoners.

What’s more, it’s being built without a penny of public funds. I salute those whose financial support got the project under way and urge others to help provide the balance of funds needed to complete it”.

Nick Viner, Chief Executive of JCC Ventures said: “It’s fantastic to see so many people turn out to offer their support from across the full spectrum of the Community. It makes me more confident than ever that the Jewish Community Centre will become the hub of Jewish life in the capital and a catalyst for renaissance in our community”

Dame Vivien Duffield, whose vision and leadership have driven the project forward, said: “The Jewish Community Centre building has been designed to be inspirational – a place where Jewish culture is made as well as enjoyed. My aspiration is that the quality of the programming and cultural output produced at the Centre will rightly earn it a reputation for excellence amongst the wider community, establishing itself as a must- visit destination on the cultural map of London”.

The Groundbreaking event was attended by 200 people including representatives from all the main branches of Judaism, Community leaders, London Assembly members, local councillors and the Mayor of Camden.

Jewish Community Centre London – Background Information

About JCC Ventures JCC Ventures Limited is an independent developer. It is constructing a state-of-the-art Jewish Community Centre on the site of the former Alan Day Mercedes showroom on the Finchley Road in Hampstead, North London. The building, which has been designed by architects Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands, will open in 2013 and will welcome everyone who is interested in Jewish life.

For further information about the Jewish Community Centre visit the JCCV website at

JW3 Jewish Community Centre, London : main page

11 Sep 2009

Jewish Community Centre Building

Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands’ Jewish Community Centre gets planning go-ahead

A new home for the JCC for London (JCC), designed by architects Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands, has received the unanimous go-ahead from Camden Council’s planning committee. The 30,000 sq ft centre on Finchley Road in North London will replace the former Alan Day Mercedes garage and signals a new cultural hub on this heavily trafficked road.

Jewish Community Centre Hampstead – building proposal:
Jewish Community Centre Jewish Community Centre London Jewish Community Centre Finchley Road
images from architects

The JCC set its architects a considerable challenge: to provide a home for their ground-breaking and varied programme while establishing an arts and community focus in the local context – bringing light, life and activity back to the street.

Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands have responded with an elegant three-storey linear pavilion set back from Finchley Road, creating a new landscaped piazza and relating to the Camden Arts Centre’s gardens opposite. This contribution to the streetscape is central to the project, with the piazza working as an ‘external room’ to the amenities on the ground floor and public space linking the centre’s activities to the street and inviting in the community beyond.

The centre is accessed by an off-centre footbridge bringing visitors in at mezzanine level. An airy reception acts as main distribution point for the centre’s functions: library, café, auditorium and screening room, classrooms, dance and rehearsal studios, nursery and offices, arranged vertically with privacy increasing with each floor. The most public activities are located at lower ground level with direct access to the piazza, while the nursery sits on the first, its enclosed garden screened for shelter and amenity.

The main façade is fully glazed with rooms that are screened or open onto galleries according to function. Rooms are intermittently extended to the perimeter of the galleries giving articulation to the façade. The service core along the south west boundary provides vertical circulation and services for the active spaces overlooking the new piazza below.

A ‘campanile’ of 14 apartments located on the north eastern corner replaces the existing residential accommodation on the site, and functions to enclose the piazza and signpost the civic nature of the scheme.

Alex Lifschutz felt JCC’s brief was an opportunity to make a real contribution to the streetscape and community: “The piazza is designed to activate Finchley Road, functioning as an outdoor room – equipped to host events, markets, ice skating – for the JCC’s programme, as well as inviting in the wider community.”

Nick Viner, chief executive of the JCC, said the new building “will befit a community centre which is truly the heart of the community, catering to the needs of all – young and old, religious and secular”

Jewish Community Centre – Building Information

Architect: Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands
Project Manager: Davis Langdon
Planning Consultant: DP9
QS: Gardiner & Theobolds
Services and Sustainability Engineer: Norman Disney Young
Structural Engineer: Adams Kara Taylor
Transport Engineer: Faber Maunsell
Acoustic Engineer: Cole Jarman Associates
Environment Engineer: Faber Maunsell/Aecom
Access Consultant: All Clear

About the Jewish Community Centre for London

The JCC aims to foster and develop an inclusive Jewish community for anyone and everyone who associates with being Jewish, to whatever extent. It seeks to attract Jews of all ages, persuasions and lifestyles, as well as the wider community, by creating a welcoming environment in which all feel at home. Rooted in Jewish values, the JCC’s social, cultural, educational and recreational programme provides multiple pathways into the richness of Jewish life. The JCC building will be a meeting place for all those attracted by any aspect of Judaism.

Jewish Community Centre London images / information from Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands

Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands

Jewish Community Centre Hampstead

Location: Finchley Road, Northwest London, England, UK

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