Open competition entry for a new visitors centre for the Sevenoaks Wildlife Trust, a nature reserve in a former gravel quarry to the north of Sevenoaks, Kent. The approx. 650m² new centre is to act as the flagship visitor centre for the Trust, with key themes of nature, health and wellbeing for visitors and educational groups.
The design of the centre draws inspiration from the site, with structures cloaked in planting, bird-watching hides perched on the edges of lakes, and the industrial history of the site. The proposal is a striking composition of three elements within the landscape: the ground-level visitor centre and offices cloaked in climbing plants; the timber-framed raised studio and treatment rooms; and a filigree timber treetop lookout platform.
The proposal acts as a gateway to the nature reserve, allowing clear orientation and access to the facilities as visitors arrive from landscaped parking through a welcoming opening in the ground-floor building. Walking routes, educational tours, picnic areas and play spaces are directly reached from the area adjacent to the new building.