The local Primary Care Trust is working in conjunction with ARCH Initiatives to develop social health centres for substance misuse in Birkenhead. The aim of this project was to provide a non-alcoholic bar/cafe to the ground floor, with offices and one-to-one areas to the first floor. This was to complement the success of the existing ARCH Initiatives building, which is adjacent to the site. The cafe has provided a useful social opportunity to deal with substance misuse in a relaxed and welcoming environment.
This was delivered through the refurbishment of two terraced properties previously combined at ground floor level, for retail use with a number of small flats above. The new café/bar is to raise awareness of health issues to young drinkers and stimulant drug users, who feel they may not have a problem. The café/bar has a welcoming environment that does not stand out as an alcohol and drug rehab information centre. It is hoped that this could be achieved through providing a casual feel, something similar to some of the larger commercial coffee/bookshop relaxing reading/coffee areas. Ainsley Gommon worked with ARCH to create a light open welcoming cafe area, with a new shop frontage, animating a previously blank gable at this key corner location. With comfortable light, naturally ventilated office space to the upper floors that have been running successfully for a number of years.
This is the fourth project Ainsley Gommon Architects have undertaken for ARCH Initiatives, which enabled us to build on established working relationships for the successful delivery of this project.