The focus of the design was to create a building that was memorable, functional and durable that responded to the complex physical, spatial and financial requirements of the brief.
By phasing the construction, the centre could be operational as early as practicable, resulting in additional revenue from retail and catering activities to boost the fund raising efforts to complete the remaining elements of the site.
The proposal made use of existing structures on site. Phase 1 works would retain the structure and foundations of the existing barn, to be then clad with timber shingles. Phase 2 becomes an attraction in itself during construction, as an exhibit of vernacular building techniques.
The buildings would consist of prefabricated timber trusses/frames, reed/thatched roof finishes and hay bales would be used for the external insulation. The fenestration and interior detail evoke a visual journey through the building, out into the adjacent reed beds and onward to the Fen landscape beyond.