The Humberhead Peatlands Natural Nature Reserve is internationally noted for being the largest lowland raised bog wilderness in the UK and an internationally important site for its rare flora and fauna. Jefferson Sheard Architects worked with Kier, on behalf of client Natural England, to design an educational and operational building on their Hatfield site.
The development improves facilities to better deliver the educational and environmental remit as a Nature Reserve and also as a centre of research excellence, facilitating partnerships with universities and international links with similar projects across Europe.
It’s important that a building of this kind integrates into its environment with cohesion, so we have implemented a simple, natural palette of materials, most of which are recyclable. Vertical cedar cladding, natural stone, and brown roofs created from recycled rubble (to promote an invertebrate habitat) create an aesthetically pleasing but resolutely utilitarian design solution. Much thought has gone into the operational and logistical requirements of the layout, which includes an office, meeting space, classroom, overnight sleeping accommodation, boot room and workshop for storing Land Rovers and equipment.