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Client

Eurotunnel UK

Location

Folkestone/Dover

Sector

Community

Services

Quantity Surveying

Value

£200K

The Samphire Hoe education centre is a scheme designed to create a central place for people to come and expand their knowledge of landscape and heritage. The shelter is part of the Up on the Downs Landscape Partnership Scheme, which aims to increase learning, training and community participation as well as to restore natural features of the area.

The project was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), Eurotunnel the RDPE Leader Programme and Dover Rotary Club.

The building was designed to also act as a wind break to enhance the visitors’ experience whilst using the facilities available at Samphire Hoe.

The buildings use of recycled railway sleepers derived from their common use at coastal locations and the building’s form, is reminiscent of the historic defensive structures dotted along the Kent coast.

An excellent location for family and classroom days out, the development hopes to attract more visitors to Samphire Hoe, were they can learn about the vastly dynamic natural environment at the base of the Dover cliffs and the origin of Britain’s youngest piece of land, as a result of the spoil from the Channel Tunnel. The building is also used to exhibit other projects associated with the White Cliffs Countryside Partnership.

 

Challenges.

The scheme was situated on the site of reclaimed land produced when the Channel Tunnel was formed. Therefore, the site contained the dual challenges of extreme weather, due to the exposed nature of the land, and soil conditions.

The design was developed that allowed for the scheme to be cost effective and provide an architectural response sympathetic to the site topography.

Innovation.

The building is isolated from incoming services, and therefore included innovations such as a wood burn fire boiler as heat source, water attenuation and “fabric first” building design.

The scheme has been shortlisted for the 2016 CIAT Award for Excellence in Architectural Technology.

Collaboration.

Working closely with the Architects, Lee Evans Partnership, along with Eurotunnel and the White Cliffs Countryside Partnership, the scheme developed and evolved into the award winning scheme seen today.

In July 2015, Eurotunnel were awarded a 11th Green Flag Award, in recognition of its efforts in conservation and management of Samphire Hoe, and the education centre played a key part in this.

Project team.

  • Architect

    Lee Evans Partnership

  • Structural Engineer

    Gary Gabriel Associates

  • Contractor

    Coombs

"It is so exciting that the build is happening, it will be such a great asset to Samphire Hoe, and the Dover and Folkestone area."

Paul Holt: White Cliffs Countryside Partnership