The Royal Parks charity has developed plans for a proposed new public Learning Centre, to be constructed in an area of Greenwich Park where there is currently an underused contractor’s yard (close to Vanbrugh Gate).
The proposed site for the new Learning Centre to the east of the park
Click to view it in Google Maps
The proposed Learning Centre is part of Greenwich Park Revealed - an exciting project which aims to conserve and enhance Greenwich Park's historic and natural heritage. Architects, Architype have designed the plans for the project.
The ecologically-friendly Learning Centre will serve as a new community ‘hub’ within the park. It will provide opportunities for adults and children for training, learning, volunteering, events and activities. The building will also have commercial potential for private events.
The new Learning Centre will also provide public toilets, a changing place, drinking fountain, meeting place and an information point for park users.
New green space for all park visitors
The construction process will create new green space: it will open up a completely new area of the park, making it available for all visitors to enjoy, transforming part of the area that is currently an underused contractor’s yard. This newly-created green space will create a multi-purpose patio area, and provide views over the Deer Park - a fitting setting for the new Learning Centre.
New public green space will be created in this existing contractor’s yard
The project will convert an existing residential lodge at Vanbrugh Gate into a new Café to be opened to the public along with a kitchen garden maintained by volunteers.
Sustainability is integral to the project. The designs will ensure reduced carbon emissions and environmental impact both in the construction and in the day-to-day running of the centre:
- The building will be energy efficient, well-insulated and ‘airtight’ - preventing heat loss from drafts. Solar and thermal panels will generate energy on-site.
- Careful window design will maximise natural daylight and avoid overheating in summer.
- The design will incorporate rainwater collection and water-efficient fittings.
- Environmentally-friendly natural materials will be used and sourced locally where possible, such as insulation substances potentially made of recycled newspaper, strawbale, hemp and sheep’s wool.
- There is an aspiration to use reclaimed timber from The Royal Parks in the construction.
- The design will incorporate integrated garden areas for growing and learning, living roofs and bird and bat boxes to support biodiversity.
Improvements to the existing contractor’s yard will facilitate more efficient and sustainable working practices at Greenwich Park with better recycling facilities and the installation of new electricity charging points for park maintenance vehicles to use, as The Royal Parks charity transitions towards using electric vehicles in its fleet.
A similar Learning Centre in Hyde Park was designed for The Royal Parks by David Morley Architects in 2012. The eco-friendly building hosts thousands of children and adults each year through the Centre’s School and Community Learning Programme.