|Healthy Living Centre, Whitehawk, Brighton|
This well developed proposal brings together several existing local services under one roof and adds other social services, advice and help; all coupled with high levels of interaction. These services join together harmoniously around a private circular atrium structure cleverly separated from outside influences.
The excavated site minimises the sloping geography reducing accessibility issues and minimises the impact of a larger civic building on adjacent residential neighbours. The glulam timber beams and columns produce a curving roof, finished with oak shingles; the long span is beneficial for passive ventilation and aiding air circulation also giving flexibility to partitioning of interior spaces. At the apex of the structure is a passive / mechanical wind turbine that generates electricity. It can be purely passive or driven by its own stored energy if required during hot weather or in the event of a fire.
The internal spaces interest and stimulate the senses, utilizing colour, aromas, textures, movement and sound. This is achieved by introducing water features and copious amounts of vegetation; careful mixtures of shade and sun loving flora are used. Inward and outward views are formed in the buildings fabric, the fabric itself formed with healthy and natural building materials chosen for their look and feel; enjoyed by both passers-by and the centre users, and for their minimal environmental impact; having high recyclability and less embodied energy.
The building's orientation takes advantage of terrain & weather and with correct use of insulation, good renewable energy practice it creates a low emissions building; a reversible heat pump powers the underfloor heating and cooling, attaining constant and comfortable temperature levels, subterranean fresh air ducts aid natural ventilation and cooling, and perimeter drainage feeds a grey water storage system. Daylight is exploited with several glass openings including a glazed roof that maximises on natural light to enter deep into the centre of the building, creating interest and optimum light levels. Internal natural stone act as heat sinks and high levels of thermal and sound insulation are created with the use of structural insulated panel walls.
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