|Location: St Helens, Lancashire|
|Completion Status: August 2011||Occupancy: August 2011|
|Architect: Simmonds Mills Architects||Consultant: Alan Clarke|
|Contractor: Paragon Construction||Client: Helena Homes|
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This Passivhaus certified building houses the headquarters for the Green Base service which manages all of the landscaped areas within Helena partnerships’ rented housing estates. The building is also a community resource, with large multi-purpose room, for use by various community groups focused on learning and enjoyment of horticultural activities.
The GreenBase team had a visionary approach to the planned service - a building to match this vision was paramount. As well as maintenance & enhancement of public landscapes, the team also engage the community in sustainable horticulture activities.
The approach was to design a landscape integrated, contemporary building, of a scale appropriate to its context, to sit calmly in its 1970’s housing estate setting - whilst also signalling a centre of public activity. The adoption of domestic scale & ‘conventional’ products & materials was intended to make the PH approach relevant to local residents and builders. In its prominent corner site, the building is already a popular local landmark.
The design emphasises Helena’s intention that the community facility is open to those living & working in the neighbourhood. The housing estate has a high crime rate requiring the designers to work closely with the client to ensure the building form & security detailing resulted in a safe environment for building users - without creating an overly ‘defensive’ design.