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The Petal - Sevenoaks Nature and Wellbeing Centre
Kent, UK, 2017

1. From East Lake

Following the organisation of the leaves of floating lilies, flower petals and the islands of the East lake, the roof is made up of a series of circular ‘petals’ that reduce in size as they reach the centre of the building, with light entering from above through skylights between each petal. The internal spaces trace the overhead petals and form enclosed and open spaces made of timber and glass. The soft, curved walls create a sense of calm and connection to nature and an atmosphere of being under the branches of a tree or being in a small forest. The dappled light from above and views through the building in all directions to nature beyond reinforce the activities of nature conservation, research and wellness within.

The centre is organised in a series of loose concentric rings with the café and studio opening on a large terrace directly looking on the East Lake, with offices and kitchens to the East, the entrance, reception and shop to the South and in between all of these the exhibition areas and treatment spaces. Designed as somewhere to freely wander with no pre-ordained route or order, discovering the centre’s organic organisation, flexibility of spaces, and fluidity serve to enhance the experience of the visitor and mimics the experience of visiting the reserve and the circular and connected walks.

7. Context Plan
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Design Team

  • Gianni Botsford
  • James Eagle


  • Measur, Cost Consultant
  • Built Engineers, Structural Engineer
  • Integration, Environmental Engineering