This scheme proposes 900m² of contemporary offices for employees on the edge of the River Avon flood plain. The building was to be the company headquarters for Ringwood based national retirement housing developer Churchill.
A conscious decision was made not to ape the rather tired 1990’s commercial style of the original building and rather to develop a design that responded more directly to the amazing views across the Avon floodplain – a SSSI on account of the huge range of wildfowl that migrate to and from it. The planners were very keen that it should have a low visual impact from the floodplain – so the original concept was a bird watching hide – although this became a little diluted when the clients asked for full height windows in their boardroom to capitalise on the view.
This scheme demonstrates how our natural friends have the propensity to influence a scheme design. An edge of village housing development in Essex, despite the huge support of the local community two great crested nest eggs were found in four acres of brambles. This necessitated a re-design of the masterplan to accommodate a dedicated habitat for the creatures. This was achieved through incorporating a protected newt route and tunnel through the site to a sizeable new pond. A positive has been made of this however, with the larger houses in the scheme overlooking this naturalised feature.