Site progress in Sittingbourne, Kent
Client: Swale Borough Council
Project: New build Village/Community Hall
Access Lakeview village hall’s website here
The completion works are moving along on site in Sittingbourne, great to see the soft and hard landscaping coming together! Lakeview Village Hall’s grand opening is scheduled for the beginning of July.
In January 2015, BBM were awarded the appointment of architect for a new village hall within the rapidly enlarging neighbourhood of Great Easthall to the northeast of Sittingbourne in Kent. For the new building, named by local residents as Lakeview Village Hall, BBM’s pitch was to create a ‘marker on the map’; to provide a visual and community focal point within its emerging townscape and landscape setting.
The project also provides a good home for local ecology. The landscape has been designed with a variety of native woodland tree and shrub species as well as wildflower and grass meadows. A hibernacula provides a dedicated habitat for beneficial species. The building’s flat roof incorporates a wild flower meadow and, along with bat boxes fitted to the sides of the light canons, the building itself goes a long way to offsetting the ecological value of the footprint it displaced.
Anticipating the needs of the future, the architects were mindful to create a building that would easily accept change and expansion. There was always a hope that the building could at some point in the future provide changing facilities for the playing fields to the south of the village hall. The design anticipated the layout of a building being added on its southeast side. The plant room and utility connections were sized to allow this to happen as well. Additionally the external canopy would serve as a covered link to a future building potential on the west side. Along the north side of the site, the car park can be extended to meet an increased parking demand. The large light canon has a significant southwest facing pitch which the designers envisaged to allow for the future fitting of a photovoltaic (solar electric) array.
BBM and the rest of the design and client team are hopeful the Lakeview Village Hall will provide a great home and focus for neighbourhood events and parties well into the future. As part of the wider aspirations from the very beginning of the project, we hope the new facility will stimulate a sense of place and belonging to the residents of Great Easthall, be a ‘marker on the map’ in terms of architectural presence and at the same time be a good custodian of its local ecosystem and minimise environmental impacts in its use and construction.