Yaa Asantewaa Arts / Carnival Village

The Yaa Centre has provided a new home for the Carnival Village Trust, as well as the Association of British Calypsonians, Ebony Steel Band Trust and Yaa Asantewaa Arts. It includes a flexible exhibition /performance space, education and training workshops, a 60-seat presentation theatre, two dedicated rehearsal spaces for the development of steel pan music, a dance studio, business advisory services and a radio station.  

The large number of stakeholders and diverse range of environmental requirements, needed a transparent and thorough briefing process to ensure that their individual aspirations could be met within the constraints of a tight budget. 

The London Plan required the scheme to include a substantial contribution to energy reduction by adopting renewable energy. The restrictions of the site, and cost implications, meant that this would have led to a significant reduction in the client’s aspiration for the scheme. Through optimising day-lighting to all spaces (including performance spaces), developing an energy-efficient ventilation and lighting control, adopting a sustainable urban drainage scheme (including rainwater recycling) and extensive consultation with the planners, we were able to justify the sustainability of the scheme (without using renewables) and optimise the client’s aspiration for use of the building within the budget constraints. 

The project was tendered using a traditional procurement route in 2009 and all the tenders returned on budget. Skelly & Couch provided full M&E, environmental, and co-ordination design services.  

Winner of a 2013 Civic Trust Commendation.