Published on 06 December 2023
TNG youth club wins first place at the Architecture Today Awards final
On Thursday 23 November, finalists gathered for the Architecture Today awards 2023, for community buildings that have ‘stood the test of time’. Up against heavy-weights like The Barbican and Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum, TNG co-designed by Lewisham's youth, impressed the judges with a project that ‘enabled and empowered local people as well as the wider community.’
Shaun Sutar TNG Youth worker, who was part of the original project team told us how the live finals unfolded,
'Walking in and being reunited with the team that began this journey a decade ago, was a fantastic start to the night, and seeing Gerry Devine, our original youth worker, warmed my heart and brought a huge smile to everyone’s face.
As we gathered to hear the results, Rashan, She-Neil and Shainace talked with Gerry about the project, the fun moments they had and how it supported their personal development which empowered them to achieve all that they have. Listening to them talk about the impact on their lives was a humbling moment, which I was honoured to have been a part of, and reinforced the reason I do youth work.
Together we listened as the judges announced that the voting panel could not make a decision between two projects and so for the first time ever, they created a joint winner. The Ashmolean Museum was announced while they celebrated, I thought, well we got this far, when suddenly we heard, "And joint winners are the TNG project Wells Park Road!".
A cheer went up from the team and it was our moment in the spotlight, it was incredible to see the steering group’s hard work and journey come full circle, and now their legacy supports not just the development of the Well Park community, but the whole of the Lewisham Borough.'
Deiter Kliener, founding director of RCKa Architects said,
'It was a privilege to work with so many amazing stakeholders and young people like Rashan McDonald to co-design and bring into existence TNG, The New Generation, building.
Over a decade on and I'm super proud of all the positive things that came out of the process, to support young people and local communities. I think myself incredibly lucky to be able to combine a passion for helping great people, create great places with even greater social impact!'
Gülen Petty, Interim CEO of Youth First said,
I am absolutely delighted that on the 10-year anniversary of the opening of the TNG (The New Generation) youth centre, this community space has won first place in the prestigious Architecture Today award for buildings that have ‘stood the test of time’.
I would like to thank Deiter Kliener, founding director of RCKa Architects, for his ten- year commitment to our young people and this community project, and for all his hard work in telling the TNG story to the judges.
This award truly recognises the investment, commitment and vision of the young people of Lewisham, their skills and their journey from simple drawings and consultation through to the amazing space we enjoy today. Just teenagers themselves, our young people knew this building would be a gift for a new generation, and this award shows it truly is.
Cllr Barnham, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People at Lewisham Council, said,
'We are proud of how the TNG Youth and Community Centre has enabled local communities to be part of a cultural hub. The space allows young people and users of the space to be creative and build grassroots projects.
See our award winners at the final
Learn about the TNG story
Learn about our next project, Riverside Youth Club