Anya Katharina Cardwell
A women's refuge and small community sports centre on the site of a Mosque in Cheetham Hill. Unlike traditional women's shelters, this refuge is not hidden, forcing the community to address the issue of domestic abuse.
Emergency refuge apartments are located above the sports facilities and close to communal spaces and counselling rooms. Separate terraced housing caters for women and children in the transitional phase of recovery, to provide a new level of independence. These houses maintain opportunities for integration and support among neighbours through the semi-enclosed courtyards which separate the terraces and the large external courtyard with a communal herb and spice garden.
The spiritual context of the site and the issue of providing a sense of security without isolation have influenced the design of the masterplan and individual buildings. Perforated brick screens, inspired by traditional Mashrabiya windows, appear throughout to break down the barrier of inside and outside.