dcsimg Castlefield Visitor Centre - Ramboll UK Limited
photo: Bernard O'Sullivan, Inside Out Photography
Project data
Client: Halton Borough Council
Architects: HOT Architects
Completion: 2005
Value: £250 000

Services we provided
Structural engineering

Castlefield Visitor Centre

Castlefield Park, Widnes, UK ¤

The visitor centre at Castlefield Park was conceived as a social outreach project to address the problem of youth gangs who would congregate in the park and vandalize property. The new activity centre and education facility is designed to serve this community’s needs and is provided with optimal security and anti-vandalism features.

Set on a raft foundation, the single-storey concrete structure is l-shaped in plan, and houses a seminar room and a kitchenette. Two glass doors are set back from the façade, allowing optimal penetration of natural light; at night, heavy shutters roll down for security. Once construction was complete, we "buried" the rear of the building and added minimal landscaping that gives the impression of a buried bunker.

Our innovative waterproofing strategy - applying Caltight directly to the concrete mix - meant external waterproofing was unnecessary. Specially pigmented concrete renders the building’s exposed concrete façade jet black, providing protection against vandalism.