RIBA Design Competition
The design of the hub was focused on sustainability and energy efficiency but also to ensure it is contemporary, aesthetically pleasing and complimentary to the future landscape setting. The approach to the hub from the car park through the new proposed memorial garden acts as a physical and emotional gateway to the new facilities introducing the visitor to the WW1 history of the site. Visitors will be able to walk around and through the memorial garden, reading inscriptions on the timber columns and acknowledging the names of people who had trees planted and for those who played a role in the WW1. The proposed memorial garden gateway is made of engineered timber columns/plaques, resembling trees as well as being a permanent outdoors gallery space. There is also a WW1 reference as the columns garden resembles war trenches. This garden can be expanded in the future for dedicating more names for people who plant trees. As you approaching the hub the timber columns eventually become part of the building providing structural support for the hub.
The hub’s new facilities, which include an event/exhibition space, 24h accessible public WC’s, staff areas, a meeting room as well as storage rooms. The building has been designed to blend in to the natural rural environment. The sloping grass roof becomes part of the landscape and fully engages with the site whilst offering panoramic views to the landscape. To the south of the hub a new grassed ramp/with steps offers additional seating area overlooking the other memorial site. There is also sheltered outdoor space to offer cover during poor weather conditions. The building has been design for the operational/security requirements of the hub offering 24h accessible public toilets and storage room for tools and protective clothing. Internally there is additional storage space to store furniture for events. The public toilets are fully accessible and provide 17 WC’s (4 male cubicles, 4 urinals, 8 female cubicles), 8 hand wash basins and baby changing facilities. There is a fully accessible disabled toilet as well as 2 ambulant toilets, 1 each for male and female. The above facilities will serve the anticipating soaring visitors to the site.
The layout of the hub has been design to adopt passive measures. The width of the building offers passive ventilation. The high specification glazing offers maximum daylight and uninterrupted views to the landscape. The solid cladding to the south and the green roof improves dramatically the thermal performance of the building and add cooling to the fabric reducing the amount of heating lighting and cooling required.