Home Sweet Dome

Home Sweet Dome is a cosy, mobile, inflatable structure that can turn an old abandoned car park into a magical events venue, cinema, performance space or sports commentary box within minutes! Designed with architects Pentinnen Shoene and the people of the Craylands Estate in Basildon, Home Sweet Dome will provide a focal point for community activities during a long-drawn-out regeneration of the estate.

Home Sweet Dome is a budding social enterprise and will soon be available for hire as a portable events venue.


Developing the idea

The People Speak’s creative consultation commission on the Craylands Estate started in February-March 2008 with a series of events and activities designed to investigate desires and needs of residents and agencies on the estate in a creative and accessible way. After almost three years working on the estate, The People Speak have developed this proposal: to build a mobile, multi-use public space (The Craylands Hacienda – renamed Home Sweet Dome), to provide a focus, location and point of contact for the varied activities of diverse groups of local people. As the regeneration process proved slow and communication inconsistent,  the local community needed a real reassurances that changes will happen.

Some of the desires that people have expressed have been for more activities for young people, more community space, and a public place for people to meet and socialise in.

“We want a Multi-Use Games Area” – Debbie Hunt, Friends of Craylands
“More stuff for the kids to do, so they don’t get in trouble” – Resident

Background: The Craylands Estate

The Craylands Estate in Basildon is considered a no-go zone for many people who live across South Essex, it is socially deprived with hard to reach communities, whom often have difficulty engaging with local agencies. There has been a plan to regenerate Craylands Estate which will see new homes, a new local centre with shops and community facilities alongside improvements to existing facilities and services. Alongside improvement of the infrastructure there is also the need to develop a community in isolation, and which is lacking confidence and a voice within the regeneration process. The wish is for people on the estate to become actively involved in the management of their neighbourhood.

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