Granby Street, Leicester
ISKCON Centre (2013)

The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) have acquired a Grade II* listed former bank building in the centre of Leicester. OFA have prepared a design and planning application converting the building into a community centre and temple for the devotee and greater community.

Granby Street is a wonderful relic from a bygone era that can no longer retain its original use as a purpose built banking facility. Designed in 1872 by Joseph Goddard, the building is recognised as an important part of Leicester’s architectural heritage.

The adaptive reuse provides a number of opportunities to rework the existing building to improve access and support the proposed new programmes. Spaces recognised for their historical significance will be retained as will the exterior of the original building.

A new entry extension fits tightly into the corner providing a negotiation between the adjacent end façade of the old theatre building and the setback façade of Granby Street. The entry is preoccupied with the relationship between a new intervention and its historic host. The design intent is modern in its use of materials, detailing and architectural composition, however by complementing the historic, the proposal offers a composed entry that will enhance rather than detract from the context. Historical memory is integrated into the new building element through a shadow print reference to the existing building on the new screen facade. A screen is to be patterned with perforations to provide a veil around the curtainwalled entry.