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Old Vicarage Youth Centre
Bradford, United Kingdom
image: Architecture Unknown | CC-BY-SA_black.png some rights reserved
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Location:
Bradford, United Kingdom
Category:
meeting place
Phase:
design development
Updated:
4 January 2023
The Old Vicarage in Bradford will create a home-away-from-home for children who need a helping hand. Led by Rooted In, the renovation of this 19th C. building will utilise an open-plan to integrate play, relaxation and homework alongside a modern kitchen with moving walls to provide flexible and exciting spaces. Through a collaborative design process and a community-led build this building will provide safety and shelter for young locals in need.
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Introduction
Allerton in Bradford is a place without the core elements of communal stability, and has been underserved historically through chronic lack of investment in local life. Ranking number 95 out of 100 of worse places for employment in the UK, the ageing housing stock, poor quality urban environments and a lack of legitimate opportunities for personal and financial growth conspire to create an ongoing atmosphere of unloved streets and forgotten communities without a vision for how the area might improve. 

The Old Vicarage will be a training exercise to build young people’s confidence, interest in construction and will offer them a place to flourish. Rooted In already deliver live-enterprise training where young people work in and run one of two coffee shops or a pizza-making service. The Old Vicarage project opens new avenues for training in construction especially through the WikiHouse system with Architecture Unknown. This will allow Allerton’s young people to construct the majority of the two extensions planned for the Old Vicarage together as a team using only a hammer and screws.

By transforming this unloved pile of unconnected rooms into a joyous facility that offers entrepreneurial and learning opportunities, as well as safe space to simply hang out, meet friends and do homework, the Old Vicarage will become a supportive lifeline for young people in Allerton. 
Current View of the Old Vicarage

image: Architecture Unknown | CC-BY-SA_black.png some rights reserved
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Impact
The extension to the Old Vicarage will use a pioneering system called WikiHouse that combines the accuracy of off-site manufacturing with the capacity for “sweat equity” available to community-led groups. WikiHouse is the construction ‘flatpack’ of the 21st century, and has the potential to do for construction what IKEA furniture did for bespoke joinery. By prioritising simple installation and high quality building materials, the system can turn anyone into a master builder with the capability to construct even complex schemes.

Spearheaded by the youth of Allerton, this comprehensive community project will be an anchor for one of the most deprived areas in England. The construction of this extension elaborates on the goals of creating community-based solutions to local problems, that are very much Do-It-Yourself. Youth volunteers will lead through design participation and the construction of their own facility, encouraging social and skill growth whilst enhancing community spirit. With this, the project becomes an emotional investment and increases the sense of achievement felt by team members who will be creating a landmark that will stand out in Bradford.

By embedding new skills and confidence in the next generation, this project will improve long-term aspirations whilst addressing the lingering trauma of post-Covid instability, encouraging Allerton’s youth to become intuitive problem-solvers. Those involved will be empowered to step into future education, training, employment and entrepreneurship that will benefit the local economy, wellbeing and life satisfaction.
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Core team
Rooted In Homes (RIH) is community based organisation established in 2003 and over the years the scope, scale and ambitions of the organisation have grown significantly. Rooted In Homes have a clear culture of building people first and foremost whilst reaching towards daring solutions to see lives changed and their community transformed from within.

Working with Architecture Unknown Ltd. (AU), who specialises in community engagement, socially conscious design and community construction has enabled the project to be designed to be wholly sourced from within Allerton so that everyone can be part of the construction of a shared future.

Headed up by Josiah Sulc (RI), Charlie Butterwick (AU) and Daniel Kelso (AU), the core team has a bold belief that truly engaging with the community and expanding the process of design and construction can be a tool for radical community engagement and positive social change. To both Rooted In and Architecture Unknown, the future success of community lies within, and we therefore have a responsibility to create the environment, training and opportunities for the ideas and solutions to be discovered, developed and turned into transformative change for Allerton’s youth.

The future of the Old Vicarage is centred around the expansion of life chances for all of Allerton’s young residents. Acting primarily as a youth centre, the new and improved Vicarage would also house craft/workshop facilities and also living accommodation for young people just stepping out on their own or in particular need of a lifeline. 
The Rooted In Team with the Youth of Allerton

image: Rooted In | CC-BY-SA_black.png some rights reserved
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Image gallery
All the interior finishes will have to be removed from ceilings, walls and floors.

image: Architecture Unknown | CC-BY-SA_black.png some rights reserved
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Reconfiguration of spaces is needed to avoid disconnection between the front and rear of the house. The main access through the house is quite constricted due to the position of the staircases.

image: Architecture Unknown | CC-BY-SA_black.png some rights reserved
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Significant signs of damp and mould, especially visible to the rear of the house.

image: Architecture Unknown | CC-BY-SA_black.png some rights reserved
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A new layout with the removal of unnecessary doors is needed to maximise the flow of space.

image: Architecture Unknown | CC-BY-SA_black.png some rights reserved
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The basement is not insulated and shows significant signs of damage. The basement should be sealed off for the time being and insulated so all utilities including boiler can be relocated there. New piping and utilities re-routing will be required. The ele

image: Architecture Unknown | CC-BY-SA_black.png some rights reserved
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The bathrooms are outdated and need upgrading. The water tank to relocated to the basement.

image: Architecture Unknown | CC-BY-SA_black.png some rights reserved
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Wooden staircase feature to be kept.

image: Architecture Unknown | CC-BY-SA_black.png some rights reserved
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Stain glass feature to be kept.

image: Architecture Unknown | CC-BY-SA_black.png some rights reserved
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Technical drawings
Exploded Axonometric of The Old Vicarage.

image: Architecture Unknown | CC-BY-SA_black.png some rights reserved
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Proposed Ground Floor Plan.

image: Architecture Unknown | CC-BY-SA_black.png some rights reserved
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Proposed First Floor Plan and Attic Plan.

image: Architecture Unknown | CC-BY-SA_black.png some rights reserved
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Proposed Elevations.

image: Architecture Unknown | CC-BY-SA_black.png some rights reserved
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Installation Guide of WikiHouse Systems

image: Architecture Unknown | CC-BY-SA_black.png some rights reserved
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Help bring our project to life!

There are no updates yet.

Help bring our project to life!
Where are we now
The building and grounds are currently being renovated to make good previous damage to the building and to trim back space in the front and side gardens. The building has been made available by the Diocese of Leeds under a long 20-year peppercorn lease. 

Designs have been drawn up through a community-led engagement process by Architecture Unknown and a preliminary cost estimate has been procured from a cost estimator. Planning is soon to be submitted.

Through grant giving trusts, community fundraising and philanthropic individuals we have raised 25% of costs (approx. £70k). Through current social enterprises we anticipate generating another 8% over the coming year.
An indication of our team’s capacity:
25% funding already raised
60% expertise already found
40% builders already found
Finance: € 45,000
The Old Vicarage will be developed in 3 phases to maximise the  learning opportunities arising from construction. 

Phase 1 – Redecorated and insulate the existing building to create a large open-plan kitchen, youth breakout/play spaces and separate playgroup spaces for younger children; at first floor a new quiet room, music room and office for Rooted In.

Phase 2 - Add modern new entrance extension, accessible W/Cs, and commercial kitchen to the rear. Renovate external wood workshop/shed.

Phase 3 - Roof dormer extensions to provide a second floor live/work unit for a young, local family.

We are looking for funding to complete Phase 1 over the next 6 months in addition to funds already raised. 
  • Steel beams
2,500
  • New windows
10,500
  • Internal insulation
8,000
  • Collaboration homework table
1,000
  • New kitchen incl. appliances
15,000
  • Paid labour
2,500
  • Internal finishes
4,000
  • Games and equipment
1,500
Skills: Planning & Management, PR & Marketing, Financial advice
Business planning: We have prepared an outline business plan for the Old Vicarage but would appreciate additional support to ensure the longevity of the project for the young people.

PR/Marketing: We want to work with a branding/marketing specialist to cocreate a logo and marketing materials with the young people to give the Vicarage its own visual identity.

Project management: We would love the support of an experienced project manager to lead the major development phases on behalf of Rooted In and ensure value for money during construction. 

Funding bid management: Additional support for Rooted In's existing expertise to identify further contacts/resources and hone funding applications.
Stuff: Materials, Equipment & tools
Materials: Natural insulation products (woodfibre, rockwool) - Recycled surface finishes such as tongue and groove timber flooring, paint,  paneling, wall paper. 

Equipment: Any kitchen appliances or second hand kitchen cupboards which can be adapted for our space. Games for the young people such as consoles, board games, foosball table etc.
Help bring our project to life!
Location
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