The Green

AOC, London, 2016


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The Green is AOC’s first stand-alone public building 

Timothy Soar     Download Original

  • The Green is AOC’s first stand-alone public building    
  • The brickwork references the brick pattern of the Old Nun’s Head pub opposite    
  • The mortar is the same colour as the brick    
  • The building drops down to a single storey, which cranks to create storage and a covered cycle shed    
  •  Embossed herringbone brickwork on the main elevation     
  • A pale green painted steel balcony provides shelter over the entrance beneath    
  • Red-stained plywood walls    
  • The staircase rises diagonally through the reception area    
  • Red-stained plywood walls    
  • The double-height hall    
  • Location plan    
  • Site plan    
  • Ground floor plan    
  • First floor plan    
  • Section AA    
  • Section BB    
  • Isometric drawing    

The Green is a new public building in south-east London, which accommodates Nunhead’s community life.

The Green is AOC’s first stand-alone public building. Its architecture demonstrates three main intentions: as an object just off the Nunhead Green, it expresses architectural elements of its context in playful, easily understandable ways; the girdle of space around it is a carefully configured public realm; and its interior is receptive, atmospherically and functionally. It comprises an office, café-kitchen, lavatories, a central living room and a big double-height hall on the ground floor; with medium and small meeting rooms on the top floor. The two levels are linked by a staircase, which rises diagonally across the reception area. 

The lantern-cum-faux-chimney-piece, and the embossed herringbone brickwork on the main elevation – with mortar the same colour as the brick to monumentalise the mass – references the brick pattern of the Old Nun’s Head pub opposite, and the chimneys of the 1852 almshouses facing Nunhead Green. Conceptually, the design takes the bottom storey of a Victorian terraced house opposite, and puts an almshouse on top. 

This expressive treatment of surface and detail is apparent internally in the red-stained plywood walls of the living room. The cranking of the building’s single-storey north end is echoed by a pale green painted steel balcony angling outward from the main elevation to create a substantial canopy over the entrance. There is a sign, and a symbol: the words ‘THE GREEN’ are set in steel lettering across the angle of the balcony railings. 


  • Begun: May 2015
  • Completed: Sep 2016
  • Floor area: 307m2
  • Sectors: Civic, Arts and culture
  • Total cost: £1.2M
  • Procurement: GC/WORKS
  • CO2 Emissions: 20.9kg/m2/year
  • Address: The Green, Nunhead Community Centre, 5 Nunhead Green, London, SE15 3QQ, United Kingdom

Professional Team