Amnesty International UK set an ambitious brief to create a ‘home for human rights’, a new headquarters that would bring 170 staff together under one roof to foster greater communication and engagement both with, and within the organisation.
The project expands on ideas explored in a number of earlier projects: how through the structure and character of spaces architecture can underpin communication; and how intervention in the interstitial spaces of existing buildings can maintain their assets while adding new strengths. The addition of a single storey volume along the street establishes a new level of visibility and accessibility for the organisation. It forms the beginning of a circuit of rooms through the ground floor devoted to training and co-ordination of activists and educational work. In addition to meeting rooms and classrooms, the Human Rights Action Centre accommodates an archive and exhibition space. A 250- seat lecture hall has been carved out of the old loading bay on the ground floor; while a 30 person seminar room has been formed on the third floor. These rooms benefit respectively from their proximity to, and distance from, the street; they offer both engagement and reflective distance, the two poles of this campaigning organisation's culture.
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