Forge Architects became involved in Local Community work quite early on in their history. I think it started when we volunteered to dig over a planting bed in the local park in 2001. Through this we got to know the people involved in Bankside Open Spaces Trust.
It became clear relatively quickly that our skill sets in Design, Planning, Property and Project Management were very useful for this emerging charity.
We helped them secure Planning designations for all the pocket parks and open spaces in the area and also helped with the major refurbishment and development projects at Mint Street and Redcross Gardens. In 2012 we became very involved in the redevelopment of the Marlborough Sports Garden and to this day sit on the Client Steering Group. We have sponsored and help organise the Bankside Community Festival that started in 2017 and has been held every year since, including on the radio during the Pandemic.
Resonance FM the local radio station who broadcast the event is also a beneficiary of our pro-bono help. We have assisted them in finding new accommodation for the station and for their separate live broadcast studio. There has always been a strong love of Culture in Forge and this has led us to support local cultural organisations such as Southwark Playhouse, the Cinema Museum and The Omeara Music venue. The practice’s interest in the Urban Realm led us into helping out with art installations and statues commemorating local heroes We have also given assistance to local schools, helping to close a road to form a playground and also turning our hand to fitting out a bus library.
The benefits of doing this pro-bono work break both ways, both for the organisations we help and the health and wellbeing of our staff. So I’m delighted to report that the merger with Inside Out to form Resident Architects will enable us to continue and increase our pro-bono support for local Environment and Cultural Organisations that often struggle to afford Professional help.
Tim Wood – Chairperson