Ainsley Gommon Architects


Cosmopolitan Housing Association & Birkenhead YMCA





Date Completed

Summer 2007

Development Overview

Ainsley Gommon carried out a feasibility study to set out the proposals for the future of the YMCA. The study investigated the refurbishment of the existing building, new build on new sites and the preferred option of new build on the present site. The project’s key design principles:

  • to create a ‘flagship’ YMCA that reflects the design technologies of today, that uses the orientation to best advantage to make use of ambient energy and green construction strategies * to make it environmentally friendly, sustainable and economical to run.
  • to design a building that belongs to the setting of Birkenhead by encouraging a better utilisation of the street façade at ground level and addressing the activities of the community.

The Birkenhead YMCA represents a successful commitment of determination, ambition and need. The building is intended to be a confident statement, dominated by a significant corner, and interacting with the surrounding context at street level. The building contains facilities which actively supports disadvantaged, vulnerable and excluded people in the provision of supported accommodation and a range of education, training, youth and community facilities. The building in its design provides a holistic environment where residents are provided with the services to assist their recovery from drug/substance/alcohol dependency.

The development achieved a ‘Very Good’ rating under the BREEAM assessment scheme.