Durley Chine – Environmental Innovation Hub Visitor Centre

Community

Bournemouth, Dorset

The key aim of the project is to deliver innovation and improvement on environmental waste management across the seafront. The proposal bears minimum impact on the surrounding context, taking influence from the environmental aspirations of the building and the heritage of the site.

The proposal features an active ground floor frontage encouraging promenade users to interact with the structure and enter the Environmental Innovation Hub visitor centre, visibly wearing its eco-credentials and displaying a strong sense of design within the constraints of modular construction techniques. It responds to the local environment of cliffs, beach and promenade and displays a strong sense of place.

The project aims to contribute towards BCP’s ambitions to become a Green Economy Leader by helping to achieve a step change in the reduction of single-use plastics and increased levels of recycling along our stretch of coastline. It will achieve this via partnership working with seafront businesses, major public and private sector organisations, the academic and volunteer sectors. In addition, there will be marketing campaigns to promote behavioral change, an immersive environmental visitor centre and collaboration with BCP’s Smart Place Research & Development Consortium to collect an array of coastal environmental data to drive future innovation.

The proposal includes the construction of three buildings, connected by a uniting roof. These consist of single-storey public WCs and cafe and a two- storey education and welfare building. The external spaces created under the oversailing roof provide space for a visitor attraction and installations. The proposal also includes spaces for installations to ‘spill-out’ onto the beach, inviting greater visitor interaction and increasing footfall.

The design has been developed to demonstrate and encourage renewable practices, such as the material choices and form.

The concept has been developed to encourage active interaction with the building: an external visitor experience will increase footfall and resultant community interaction. By including the community in the conception of the proposal, the deep links enable the building to live harmoniously and develop as the community does and environmental issues change.

This scheme received planning permission in November 2020.