Site Progress, Sittingbourne
Client: Swale Borough Council
Project: New build Village/Community Hall
Access Lakeview village hall’s website here
The new village hall will become part of the rapidly enlarging neighbourhood of Great Easthall to the northeast of Sittingbourne in Kent. The new building will be named Lakeview Village Hall by local residents. Our upmost aim was to create a ‘marker on the map’ and provide a visual, community focal point within its emerging townscape and landscape setting. “Lakeview Village Hall Trust was granted charitable status on 28th March 2017, the charity has been registered by the charities commission UK Charity Number 1172312”.
The key features of the hall are a main space of 104 m2 that can sub-divide into two smaller spaces of 37 m2 and 66 m2 respectively. The smaller of the two spaces directly connects to a children’s toilet to facilitate parent and toddler sessions. Notably the hall has been placed on the north side of the building, with spill-out doors facing away from the nearby housing, thus minimising the risk of noise nuisance. The design also includes a third activity space in the form of the entrance foyer which, as supported by the serving hatch of the adjoining kitchen, the architect’s foresaw as a place for hosting coffee mornings and provide catering for parties. It faces back to the lake at the heart of the new housing area. In effect this compact village hall can accommodate up to three independent activities simultaneously and as such it affords a sustainable potential for revenue generation.
The use of timber products includes the structurally insulated panels (SIPs) of the external walls, the glulam softwood structural frame, the oak shakes of the light canons and the glulam coppiced sweet chestnut of the external wall cladding. Coppiced sweet chestnut is not only grown and processed within the Kent and Sussex Weald, it also pays homage to the hop poles that are prevalent in the landscapes around Sittingbourne. Internally, the Granwood floor blocks are formed of a wood/cement composite as are the acoustic ceiling panels.
Passive ventilation ducts provide the ventilation to the main hall spaces. Motorised louvres can be adjusted to increase or decrease the levels of fresh air into the building. The light canons serve an important role in creating the stratification of air volume in the hall that in turn draws the air through the inlet louvres at low level and out through the high level vents mounted on the sides of the canons. The foyer space uses manually openable window vents and skylights to create much the same effect.
One of BBM’s previous village hall designs incorporated a large covered space onto a village green and it proved hugely successful and a great asset for a multitude of external activities and events. The canopy of Lakeview Village Hall is intended to help stage outdoor events or just act as a covered space for external tables and chairs. The on site construction works of the village hall are nearing completion and the hall is due to commence operations this summer.