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Stephen Lawrence Centre opened in London

The Stephen Lawrence Centre, built in memory of the black teenager murdered by a racist gang, officially opened its doors on February 7, 2008. The Centre was designed by architect David Adjaye.

In response to the context, the centre presents a different identity in each direction: two pavilions, when seen from Brookmill Road; a single, informal composition seen from the north; a stepped façade from the river; and a single, monumental profile when viewed from the neighbouring park to the south. The main building includes general teaching spaces and computer suites, spaces for one-to-one and group discussions, and a starter office for new enterprises. The smaller building includes art and sound studios and an editing suite. The positions of the buildings, and the cantilevering of the smaller one, respond to the no-build zones. Their triangular geometry reduces the visual weight of the corners and undermines the apparent solidity of the volumes, an effect which is heightened by the reflective qualities of the expanded aluminium cladding. The Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust has helped 55 architecture students over the past nine years with bursaries for maintenance, materials, fees and field trips so that they can stay in education. In 2008- 09, it plans to expand the number of pupils and students it works with to 12,000, or 250 a week, up from about 200 a week now.
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