Mae Architects

John Morden Centre . Blackheath

Mae Architects . photos: © Jim Stephenson

John Morden Centre is a day care centre for residents of Morden College. It brings together facilities currently spread across the college site into an innovative, characterful new building designed to tackle social isolation among older residents by providing spaces to interact.

Morden College is a Grade I listed almshouse in Blackheath, London founded in 1695 by Sir John Morden and built by Sir Christopher Wren’s master builder and successor, Edward Strong. The new building makes reference to the historic architecture in its colonnade, roofscape and brickwork.

The public spaces of the college –dining room, chapel, library– form additions to the main quadrangle connected by a colonnade. The generous social spaces of the new building are also linked by a meandering colonnade, which forms a spine of circulation and opens up connections to landscaped gardens.

Each part of the building has a distinct roof and a chimney for stacked ventilation echoing the profile of the neighbouring buildings.