Winner announced for Sevenoaks Nature and Wellbeing Visitor Centre competition
The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) is pleased to announce that Studio McLeod and Ekkist have won the competition to design a new visitor centre for Sevenoaks Wildlife Reserve in Kent which will be a flagship visitor centre offering key messaging around nature, health and wellbeing.
They fought off strong competition from ArkleBoyce Architects, Ben Adams Architects and Bilska de Beaupuy.
Stevie Rice, Kent Wildlife Trust commented: “Kent Wildlife Trust is extremely delighted to be working with Studio McLeod and Ekkist on the redevelopment of the Visitor Centre into a Nature & Wellbeing Centre. They are committed to bringing our vision to life with a building that engages people in looking after nature and their own wellbeing. They have designed a space that addresses the sensitivities of the site but has the ability to provide the local community with a space that they can use effectively whilst experiencing the wellbeing benefits of connecting with nature.
Working closely with Studio McLeod will provide the opportunity to create an experience for people that will demonstrate how nature supports human wellbeing and how people support nature in a mutually beneficial way. This will be an exciting partnership and we look forward to starting the journey with them.”
Lynne Sullivan, LSA Studio and RIBA Adviser said: “The Judging Panel selected Studio McLeod and Ekkist as winners because we felt the design combines a sympathetic and poetic approach to the proposed Sevenoaks centre, with a convincingly pragmatic and practical philosophy on spatial organisation and construction.
The ‘nestling’ forms sit comfortably in the reserve setting, and the proposal is underpinned by a thorough grasp of Kent Wildlife Trust’s desire for positive environmental and health impacts. The panel felt the team had successfully interpreted the therapeutic ethos of the project by seamlessly integrating these aspects into an architecture which has resonance, relevance and rigour - giving form to Kent Wildlife Trust's ambition to develop an innovative Nature and Wellbeing Centre appropriate for the 21st Century”.
The Studio McLeod and Ekkist team commented: "We are delighted to have been selected amongst the strong set of competition entries. Kent Wildlife Trust put together an inspiring brief, and we are excited to begin working with them and local residents to craft a centre that benefits the wellbeing of People and Nature and contributes to healthier communities.”