A new visitor centre and learning garden courtyard for Epsom
The idea of the courtyard influences our proposal as a place for different people to gather. The central courtyard and its landscape design are used as a tool to bring visitors closer to nature and as an opportunity for direct learning. The courtyard incorporates a tree nursery so that visitors can watch trees grow over time, allotments where school children can help plant and grow food, biodiverse grasses, and wildlife habitats so that visitors can see the microcosm of the wilder nature that surrounds them. The courtyard becomes a direct learning tool for visitors. The surrounding colonnade provides shelter, exhibition space and opportunities for reflection as you look at the landscape beyond.
The entrance to the site frames the view to the WW1 memorial in the distance. The roof of the main exhibition space steps up to the sky is surrounded by a series of roof lights. A large stepped window also looks out towards the WW1 memorial in the landscape. Oak faced plywood is proposed both externally and internally as a cladding system for walls, floors, and ceilings, with the primary structure consisting of FSC glued laminated timber.