A modern community centre at one of the commuter villages near Reading has gained national attention after being visited by an architectural critic.

The School Green Centre was recently ‘reviewed’ by Rowan Moore who is an architecture writer for the Sunday newspaper the Observer, a sister paper of The Guardian.

The cente has replaced the old Royal British Legion building in School Green, with the application for it being approved prior to the pandemic in 2019.

The centre was opened in November 2021 to serve existing residents and future occupants as Shinfield is one of Wokingham Borough Council’s major development locations.

Mr Moore praised the design of the building, particularly its ‘distinctive’ butterfly roof.

He wrote in The Observer: “It’s a simple but effective device, both familiar and curious, that catches the eye in long and oblique views.”

Mr Moore was praiseworthy of the design by AOC Architecture Ltd.

Mr Moore noted Shinfield’s position with its proximity to Reading and the M4 and Thames Valley Science Park.

He also noted that the Atomic Weapons Establishment in Burghfield is less than five miles away.

The centre is the new home of Shinfield Parish Council, and also has a café, a library, community group provision, exercise classes and rooms for hire.

It was opened by Professor Robert Van de Noort, the vice-chancellor of the University of Reading.

At the time, Professor Van de Noort said: “It is wonderful to see this new community centre opening, and we are proud to have played our part in bringing this facility to the residents of Shinfield and beyond. I am sure it will be enjoyed by local residents for many years to come.”

Mr Moore’s article comes as Shinfield experiences rapid expansion.

Shinfield Parish, which includes Spencers Wood and Three Mile Cross was selected by Wokingham Borough Council as a major development location, which is being delivered by developers ans housebuilders.

A total of 3,000 new homes will have been built once the project is complete.

The council’s website states: “All of the allocated sites that make up this major development location have outline planning permission.

“Of the 2,765 that have reserved matters or full planning permission, 1,595 homes were occupied in March 2020.”

It’s not just homes that are being built either, as a plan for a Lidl was approved in December last year.

Furthermore, Thames Valley Science Park is located within the development as well.

Projects by Shinfield Studios to make Reading and Wokingham ‘the Hollywood of the UK’ are progressing rapidly.

Mr Moore’s article was published in The Observer on Sunday, April 30.

The application for the centre was approved under reference 191387, which can be viewed on Wokingham Borough Council’s planning portal.