Classroom, public outlook room and viewing deck. Image credit Sue Barr.
A public facility for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds' nature reserve at Purfleet. It includes a new public outlook shelter, an outdoor field classroom, and indoor base used by school parties. Foundations are formed from driven timber piling which was first used for the construction of the reserves boardwalks. This provides a low impact, sustainable solution avoiding the need for piling sixteen metres down to the underlying chalk.
A viewing deck is surrounded by a high open timber screen. This deck leads directly into the public outlook room formed from two re‑used 40 foot shipping containers, sandblasted back to a weathering steel finish, and lined internally with timber boarding. The containers are roofed with a floating timber deck structure which uses a standard membrane roof and oyster shells as ballast.
project type_ public building
Observation deck with timber screen. Image credit Sue Barr.
Observation deck looking towards public outlook room. Image credit Sue Barr.
Classroom and teaching 'field'. Image credit Sue Barr.
Interior of public outlook room with view to new wetland. Image credit Sue Barr.
The buildings are set in a newly constructed landscape of open water and reedbeds. Image credit Sue Barr.
New structures with marshes beyond. Image credit Sue Barr.
Site plan showing buildings surrounded by water, reedbeds and earth banks.
Cross section, composting toilet and treatment beds.
The composting toilet uses an off‑the‑shelf system adapted for use in the sensitive environment of the marshes.