Sevenoaks Nature and Wellbeing Centre

Client:   Kent Wildlife Trust
Value:   £ 2M
Status: Competition

To date, the focus of the existing Wildlife Reserve has been the transformation of the quarry from industrial blight to a wildlife/wetland haven. The visitor experience and facilities are relatively and the building faces away from the beauty of its natural surroundings instead of connecting with it.

An improved visitor experience will attract more people, improve their understanding of the natural world, increase their enjoyment of the reserve and encourage them and their friends to return and enjoy the centre and the renewed facilities. Additional revenue can be fed back into maintaining and improving the whole site.

In rethinking the visitor centre offer we have:

  • Retained and refurbished the existing building to keep costs down
  • Extended the existing building at ground level by adding ancillary service spaces.
  • Proposed a new build element which provides: fixed exhibition space, café with south facing terrace and a new flexible exhibition/event space with a cantilevered terrace that overlooks the lake.
  • Created a design that allows for adjustments if the budget requires without losing the basic concept

The remodelled and extended visitor centre takes greater advantage of its location and offers the flexibility to rent event space to supplement income as well as spaces to support education, health and welfare. Improvements to the entrance road will make access, egress and parking easier and improve the immediate setting of the visitor centre.