I met Manchester-based architect and former founder of A-Cube Architects, Faheem Aftab, in a bar in Chorlton last weekend and we got talking about interior design and the concept for my NMP Wellbeing Centre. He liked my concept and we discussed the feasibility of the centre in the proposed building Leaf on Portland Street. Aftab had some great insights, connections and pointed me in the direction of a women’s centre he worked on in Liverpool; The Amadudu Centre, a refuge for women and children fleeing domestic abuse, specifically black and minority ethnic groups. He also mentioned architect Maurice Shapero and his involvement in an Everton-based wellbeing centre. After researching this wellbeing centre, it became clear that although the centre wasn’t women orientated, it still held similar values to mine. Shapero states how his centre aims to “address the duality of an open community building with the introverted/confidential nature of a Doctors practice” which is similar to my concept of my centre being personable yet practical.
Whilst exploring Maurice Shapero’s website, I came across his love for drawing and sketching which didn’t always relate to his profession or projects he worked on. I found this encouraging and relatable.
Aftab jotted notes and contacts down as we spoke. After mentioning my intentions with my women’s centre and my interest in it also being a celebration of art and women’s creativity, he included the contact information for Chuck Gallery, a Manchester art gallery dedicated to the promotion of contemporary African art in Manchester. His enthusiasm for WOC businesses was refreshing and reminded me to ensure my building’s function and interior are welcoming and inclusive for all women.
The notes are featured below.