Sevenoaks nature & wellbeing centre

Sevenoaks nature and wellbeing centre is situated in a former gravel quarry in Kent.  The building  is inspired by the hides found on the site: simply constructed timber buildings which mediate between people and nature; offering a sense of calm with intimate views, whilst respecting the reserve wildlife outside.

The centre is broken into a series of linked hide buildings nestled into the landscape, informally arranged around a central woodland courtyard.  The hide’s are of timber frame construction and are clad in burnt timber, a technique, known as Shou Sugi Ban, used for years in Japan to naturally preserve wood.  

The buildings minimise their environmental footprint by being managed separately; reducing their energy load.  They naturally 'breath', opening and closing using large sliding and folding walls to ventilate in the summer and insulate in the winter.   

This project was our entry into the RIBA open competition in 2017.