Sevenoaks Nature Reserve is a beautiful natural environment. Our vision for the new Nature and Wellbeing Centre is that the surroundings are the focus of any architectural intervention and the role of the new centre is to heighten the sensory experience of the existing habitat. Our proposal weaves into the nature reserve setting in a simple, effective way, making best use of the existing building footprint and infrastructure. The design takes the visitor on a journey, using the new buildings as a gateway to connect architecture and nature.
The overall journey from the moment of arrival at the reserve has been carefully considered. The car park is intentionally separated from the building so that visitors can begin to immerse themselves in nature before arriving at the Centre. The buildings are hidden between the trees and the main entrance is announced with a new tall tapered structure clad in charred timber that celebrates the local Kentish coastal houses. Within its deep walls, nesting places for small birds are hidden and natural light floods the space from above, gently lighting the entrance space below.