Desirable Features of a Chinnor Youth Club
In general a youth club should allow for three groups of activities which nevertheless intermingle and are interdependent – outdoor sports, indoor games and (broadly) cultural activities. The latter might extend from coffee and conversation through ‘pop’ and classical music to the doing of school ‘prep’. For the first it is most desirable that the building should have direct access onto a sports area of some kind. Both grass and a hard surface are ideal but either might substitute for the other. In Chinnor this is particularly important as the existing youth club has a highly developed capacity for outdoor games and it would be vital to foster this outstanding ability. A hard court (possibly floodlit and covered) for outdoor ball games could be a desirable refinement in this context.
Indoors the building would need to house drama and indoor sports such as table tennis and badminton. It should have rooms in which a range of ‘cultural’ activities could take place from the noisiest (‘pop’ music and dancing) to the quietest (painting, reading etc.). Some of these might take place in a library if one was conveniently near. Given the co-operation of the authorities a nearby school might provide such useful features as a gymnasium for judo, boxing and so on. A workshop of some kind both for carpentry and for motor-cycle and car ‘tinkering’ should be thought of when designing the building. The latter would need an access road.
It is clear from the above that a number of these activities involve noise and this is unavoidable and should on no account be suppressed unless it is clearly on an unreasonable scale. At the same time it is desirable to site a youth club building some distance away from residential housing if posible. The solution to this problem in the high density towns of Holland has been to place the building on top of a sound-proof underground basement in which the noisier activities take place.
Bearing in mind these considerations and the need for the club to be reasonably near the village centre, there are four possible sites in Chinnor. Roughly in order of desirability we think these are:
- The new primary school campus
- Elsewhere on the village playing field (possibly on the site of Conigre Pond if this is to be filled in).
- The allotment land between Station Road and Cherry Tree Road.
- Any other still-available land within the building line for the village.
The choice between these possibilities becomes a matter for discussion with the County Council in the first place and a request for their assistance should be the next stage in decision making.
We do not consider that it is our function to suggest the brief for a youth club building. This comes at a later stage and is properly the business of the youth club leader at the time, possibly with the assistance of an ad hoc committee and in consultation with an architect. If a youth club building were sited on the primary school campus we would be concerned that the design of the new clinic-cum-library which is planned near the entrance to the campus should make allowances for its possible evening use by teenagers for reading and study.