Nature Reserve Visitor Centre, Sevenoaks

Competition Entry 2017

Our entry was for a flexible building that acts as a hub for the diverse range of visitors to the reserve, framing their experience of the rich landscape and ecology. It is an open backdrop to the experience of nature so that the landscape is the primary focus. It employs the fabric of the building in a passive environmental strategy which acts like an organism harnessing natural elements to deliver optimum sustainability without relying on devices.

The building is conceived as a heavy spine of service spaces running parallel to the contours of the land and supporting the public spaces to the lake side and the private spaces to the land side. Our strategy allows the public spaces to be highly glazed offering views to the lake and benefitting from solar energy which is stored in the thermal mass of the spine and concrete deck. The fall towards the lakeside creates an undercroft below the deck that encourages bats to nest.