Sevenoaks Visitor Centre
The Wildlife Trust Visitor Centre seeks to create a place for wildlife and people to flourish. The building is formed of long spaces that bifurcate in plan, like the branches of a tree, to provide expansive lake views across the nature reserve and beyond.
The building cantilevers over the lake, appearing to float gracefully on the landscape. Reed beds and nesting banks enhance biodiversity, while articulated facades provide high level niches for bird, bat and bee habitats, enriching visitors’ wildlife experience.more
All buildings, boardwalks and outdoor exhibition spaces are finished in timber to complement the wooded landscape. The buildings are assembled from continuous 4m x 4m prefabricated elements. This modular approach is simple, cost effective and ensures minimal wildlife disturbance with short construction times. All foundations are galvanised screw piles that can be removed to leave no lasting trace on the protected site.
The environmental strategy includes passive solar heating for space and water, passive space ventilation, high levels of insulation and airtightness, rainwater harvesting, on site sewage treatment and below ground heat extraction via heat pumps. Timber construction and cladding also sequesters carbon to help achieve net zero carbon.
Small test buildings and a boardwalk path will facilitate a range of early events with local makers, businesses and stakeholders to begin the cultural programme.
Ben Ridley, Christian Brailey
Heyne Tillet Steel