The WaterWorks Nature Reserve & Golf Centre

‘The Waterworks’ Visitor Centre for Lee Valley Regional Park Authority delivered improvements to the Essex Filter Beds nature reserve site and the public golf course in the Layton and Hackney Marshes area of East London. The project provides a point of reference and interpretation; with integrated community facilities. The design philosophy of the architecture is founded on the belief that there is no predetermined shape or form for a building. The architecture has developed from a close empathy with a particular brief, a client, and a relationship with a context of specific character; as well as more abstract concepts. The client brief was concerned with regeneration, resolving the contrasting demands of conservation in the nature reserve with a sustainable ecology that allows greater public access and provides education. Within the limits of capital budgets the Authority wished the building to demonstrate their commitment to good practice in energy conservation and sustainable building principles in construction and materials choices. The visitor centre condenses under its 750 sqm of roofs and 650 sqm of enclosed space a variety of functions for visitor services, some particular (exhibition, classroom), some overlapping (reception, cafe, shop). The Centre is both beginning and end of a visitor experience. The nature reserve is focused on six radial filter beds constructed in 1855 to help cure the problem of water borne disease and cholera epidemics then endemic in London. The installations continued to operate successfully until closure in 1970. Until its acquisition by the LVRPA the site had no productive use and nature and wild life gradually reclaimed the land. The built project was completed in spring 2002, and after outfitting of the interpretive exhibition ‘The Waterworks’ opened to the public in August 2002.

Location

  • London

Gross Area

  • 500 to 999 sqm

Sectors

  • Culture & Entertainment - Visitors' Centres, Education - General, Food and Beverage - Restaurants, Landscaping - General, Mixed Use Projects, Sport - Golf Clubs

Key Services

  • Full Architectural Services, Sustainable Design