- The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT)
- Sevenoaks, Kent
- Project Leaders
- Robert Walder
- 600 SQM
Quattro Design Architects was part of the National Competition to design the new Flagship Visitor Centre for the Kent Wildlife Trust in Sevenoaks.
The challenge was to create a design for a building that allowed the visitor to immerse themselves seamlessly into the landscape, in order to allow the wildlife and fauna to be viewed and studied in as natural a manner as possible and without causing any interruption on the landscape.
In collaboration with The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT) Quattro designed a new flagship visitor centre for Kent Wildlife Trust in Sevenoaks. The Nature & Wellbeing Centre was intended as a hub for the local community and a place to discover, learn, research, be active and re-connect with nature, whilst also providing a platform for greater engagement with volunteer-led programmes at this gateway centre for the region.
We needed to address issues, such as providing full access for all abilities and ages and making a building which could allow flexibility in its uses throughout the day, whilst catering for the needs of the varying user groups.
Building into an established landscape within a sensitive environment, presented several challenges which our Design Team would need to overcome. A careful choice of materials, providing a full view – whilst protecting the wildlife, public access to the building without disturbing the wildlife, would all need to be addressed.
We overcame these issues by creating a design for a building, made purely from timber, so that it would age and sit within the existing wooded water line. Furthermore, by using materials familiar with the wildfowl, our design would not create any distraction.
The building itself, had living walls, where birds, fauna and wildlife including insects and bats could live and find refuge; this offered a higher sense of interaction and education with the Wildlife Trusts Visitors.
The living wall was also part of the screening structure that enveloped the building with designed view corridors that allowed maximum viewing options for visitors whilst ensuring controlled interaction with the wildlife.
Finally, to ensure the wildlife breeding and migration patterns were not disturbed, the whole design for the building was a system of timber modular and pre-construction panels that would connect without the need of power tools by using traditional slice methods.