" Brockholes Visitor Centre."
The Brockholes Visitor Centre in Preston is a centre for the Wildlife Trust of Lancashire. Following an RIBA competition win, Adam Khan Architects were appointed as architects and lead consultants for the new visitor centre and the master-planning of the 67-hectare nature reserve. The buildings and open spaces form a village-like cluster, floating on a large pontoon. This gives unlimited flood protection. The building floats allowing it to nestle into the reeves. The project is zero-carbon, and has achieved the new and highest rating of sustainability - BREAAM ‘Outstanding’.
The events ran at the centre involve guided walks around the land surrounding, they offer business events, community workshops, school visits, weddings and ceremonies and most importantly aim to educate. School visits are a big aspect of the centres use cases. This links back to the trust’s goals to educate communities through community action and volunteering. As a result most events are free of charge with donations being encouraged. For example, later this month (March 2021) there is a volunteer guided walk telling the story of the wildlife site.
As a result the building had some very specific use cases and spaces within the building had to respond to a clear “schedule of accommodation”. This is seen in the plan view, where there are clear communal areas to suit the envisioned use cases. Where the trust is entirely community driven relying on volunteering, the plan needed to reflect this. Services, an Information site,, Exhibition space, a group room and a conference space all reflect this need to be communal and have areas to educate. The inclusion of a lounge, kitchen, cafe and shop make this centre feel more rounded as a community function including many different attractions and functions for the community to make use of and come together and learn about their own wildlife and its importance.
I envision my ecology centre to have very similar functions as it serves to primarily educate the community on an issue regarding sea levels and conservation similar to the Brockholes Visitor Centre which aims to primarily echo the Trust's vision to educate the community on wildlife conservation and the environment they coexist in. The Wildlife Trust is community driven and I imagine the Ecology Centre would be driven primarily by people with a deep rooted concern and care for the future regarding climate change so I feel that this is a good precedent when it comes to looking at functions.