Brixton Windmill centre shortlisted for timber building award

Inside the centre. Image: Friends of Windmill Gardens

The timber-framed education and community centre at Brixton Windmill has been shortlisted in this year’s Structural Timber Awards.

The winner will be announced on 6 October.

Collaborating with Brixton-based architects Squire & Partners, Carpenter Oak built the centre for Friends of Windmill Gardens and Lambeth council.

It provides local residents, school groups and adult education initiatives with a multi-function centre.

It is also available for all types of venue hire and events, from wedding receptions and birthday parties to awaydays and workshops.

The centre is a simple and adaptable open plan space that will support the expansion of production by the windmill to sell flour to local bakeries, restaurants and retailers. It will also host baking workshops.

The building’s dark weatherboard echoes the exterior of the mill itself as well original outbuildings that would have once stood next to it.

The interior is a bright, open space that showcases its Douglas fir frame and rafters. Steel wind braces attached to an existing brick wall both stabilise the wall and add rigidity to the frame, allowing for minimal bracing.

Carpenter Oak also worked on the striking roof of the Upstairs venue at Squires’ Ferndale Road headquarters in Brixton.

The Friends are organising a staggered return of their activities at the windmill in line with government recommendations.

Windmill tours have restarted subject to social distancing and the next open weekend will be on Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 August.

The Friends’ popular walks in the Brixton Hill area led by London Blue Badge Guide Liz du Parcq also return on the Sunday of each Open Weekend.