Architecture and design of the new hall

The Vision
T
he search for an appropriate site for a new village hall in Hartpury had been ongoing over 10 years, although it was first formally discussed as long ago as 1993. During this time the condition of the old hall had badly deteriorated. In 2009 a needs survey was carried out which showed strong support for a new hall with associated play areas. Eventually, a suitable site was identified - alongside the local primary school and, importantly, near the centre of the village. It satisfied a number of factors such as ease of access, availability and affordability of land and sufficient space for a new building, car parking and play areas. The sale of the old village hall site and the completion of external fundraising would facilitate the overall project.

The Plan
From the outset the design principle was to respond actively to the needs survey and provide a modern, multi use village hall which gave sufficient internal space and external amenity space for the growing village community. Ultimately, the integration of the scheme into Hartpury with a new village hall being a focus for the community was key to the success of the project.

The Facilities
The development features just under 400 sq.m. of internal space plus on-site car parking, a grassed amenity area with a multi use games area (awaiting completion once funds have been identified) and a separate, fenced, play area.

The Building
The building is rectangular in plan with a welcoming covered porch area and entrance hall. The building features a multi-use main assembly hall (with sufficient height for badminton play) and a fixed performance stage area for musical or theatrical performances. The building's principal timber structural elements are expressed within the main hall to give the space some visual interest and contrast. The hall also features large, glazed doors which open onto a south facing patio and the rear grassed amenity space. Surrounding the building's central core on three sides is an attached and integrated single storey building, which contains all the ancillary rooms. In this area are two separate meeting rooms, (one of which can also function as a "green room") and two large storage rooms which serve the main hall, one of which has external access onto the rear patio. The modern fitted kitchen, and separate bar both have serving hatches to the main hall to cater for large events and there are contemporary toilet facilities for male, female and disabled users. The architectural language of the new building, along with the building form and volume, have been designed to respect the adjacent buildings with regard to overlooking, height and mass. The use of familiar facing materials also helps assimilate the new building with the local vernacular and maintain the character of the area. The building performs well in terms of sustainability and support for the environment by containing features such as a sustainable sourced timber frame, above regulation insulation standards for floor, walls and roof and a state of the art air source heat pump which provides all the heating for the new hall.

Access
Vehicular and pedestrian access is via a newly-formed entrance off Over Old Road. A pathway for pedestrians accessing the hall site is linked to a new section of pavement on Over Old Road, which connects to the school entrance. This enables us to provide a continuous hard paved route from the A417 and Over Old Road junction, through to the front entrance of the proposed hall. There is also a pedestrian access point through the north boundary connecting the village hall site with the school car parking area. The main site car park can accommodate 30 standard car parking spaces with an additional 3 disabled spaces. There is also an area in front of the building for cycle and motorcycle parking. The additional spill-over car parking area for 23 car spaces is (by agreement) shared with Hartpury School. From the car parking area, pedestrian access into the building and to the rear amenity space and play area will be via pathways. There are no steps into the building - access into the hall is via mobility threshold door entrances. Access to public areas have been designed to accommodate disabled users.

Landscape
The rear amenity space area will be enhanced at the north east of the site and allow grasses to grow tall and wildflowers to set seed. This (along with the inclusion of native shrub and hedgerow planting within landscape proposals) will also benefit invertebrates and birds. There is also the creation of a small 'wildlife garden' in the south western corner of the Site, achieved through relaxed management of the damp, herb dominated grassland. This will provide better habitat for invertebrates in particular, and also some local interest for users of the new hall. The small loss of hedgerow (due to the creation of the main site access) will be offset through native species planting with new boundary hedgerows and new tree planting (featuring new Perry Pears) and the strengthening of retained hedgerows with native species.

Summary
At long last!! - A community facility that Hartpury can be proud of.

Making it work for you.

The Team
Client: Hartpury Parish Council & Hartpury Village Hall Committee
Architect: David Brockhurst DipArchRIBA
Contractor:
Kilbury Construction
Project Manager: Astam