In 2015 we won a tender to design the grounds of a new secondary tuition centre in Enfield. It is now getting near time for our design to be built – always an exciting point in a project.
Secondary Tuition Centres are for children who have either been excluded from their school or who are at risk of being so. Orchardside Centre is a new building on the site of a former plant nursery and garden centre on Bullsmoor Lane in Enfield. It is close to Capel Manor College, a nationally-famous horticultural college, and is in a conservation area.
The site is bounded on all sides by trees or tall hedges and this has been a strong influence on our design. Access roads along the eastern and western boundaries are being laid on a cellweb “no dig” webbing layer to prevent harm to the roots of the site’s trees.
Another key design consideration has been the need to make the site drainage sustainable:
- most of the paving is permeable, allowing rain water to drain into the soil below.
- the hard play area at the rear of the site is laid over an existing concrete slab that acts as a sump before water is released at a controlled rate.
- the site frontage will be constructed with high quality natural stone and the water run-off from these areas, together with that collected on the building’s blue roof, will flow into a rain garden. The water will be held here, in a semi-formal wetland, before slowly percolating into the subsoil.
The image shows part of one of our design drawings of the rain garden.