Redevelopment will improve accessibility and add facilities

Coffey Architects has won planning consent for the redevelopment of the London Irish Centre’s historic home in Camden.

The London Irish Centre has been operating since 1955, offering social, community and cultural programmes to the capital’s Irish diaspora. The redevelopment project has the backing of singer Ed Sheeran and broadcaster Dermot O’Leary as well as the Irish ambassador.

Coffey Architects was appointed last summer, although covid-19 has since delayed the project. But it won unanimous planning from Camden council this month.

The fully accessible 45,000sq ft scheme will consolidate a number of buildings and includes a new community café and kitchen, a large multi-function venue, a wellbeing centre which will offer mindfulness, meditation and yoga sessions, a therapy garden and a shop.

Phil Coffey, director of Coffey Architects, said: “The new building represents a real opportunity to bring people together and to engage in the social meaning of architecture. We are looking forward to delivering a home for the Irish community in London that represents a beacon of hope, joy, and good spirit during these difficult times.”

The current building has been severely compromised by a lack of accessibility, multiple and confusing entrances, security concerns and event management challenges, added chief executive Ellen Ryan.