Central Club, Reading

a site with great community value with a mural depicting scenes from Black History


mural artist
Alan Howard

Reading Borough Council

mural conservators
Arte Conservation; Alan Howard

The Central Club was one of Reading’s most important music venues and youth service spaces before its closure 20 years ago. It was a space in which people from mostly afro-Carribean cultures came together to share music and socialise. From this culture rose a large mural along the full length of the building, showing scenes and characters from Black History and the local community. 

Colony became aware of RBC’s desire to sell the property and assembled a development team to prepare a bid. Developers, engineers, and architects created a series of suggested designs, alongside costings and feasibility reports, which resulted in the winning bid.

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the London Street façade is part of a conservation area and has subtle design elements to remain sympathetic

the carefully designed scale and massing

the proposals include exhibition space and boards to explain the significance of the mural

Central Club is surrounded by historic buildings and sits within a conservation area

“the design is a perfect balance of the complex technical, political, and aesthetic concerns of the site”


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