Alec French Architects Employ Tobermore Paving at £11m Springfield Community Campus in Corsham
Wiltshire Council appointed Alec French Architects to design the £11 million extension works at Springfield Community Campus in Corsham which was undertaken in 2014. Alec French Architects and The Landmark Practice were faced with the task of sourcing hard landscaping products for the new modern facility and Tobermore supplied a variety of block paving, permeable paving and step products as an aesthetically pleasing and highly functional solution.
Zac Nicolson, Associate Architect at Alec French Architects, explained the objectives of the project: “The facility was developed to provide local services to the community in Corsham and Wiltshire, forming part of Wiltshire Council’s transformation programme to co-locate regional services and improve the use of key amenities in the community.”
The extension works involved the demolition of the former Corsham Community Centre to make way for a new library, cafe, climbing wall, community hall, care room and five multi-purpose community rooms as part of the 5,008 sq. m. campus.
The choice of hard landscaping materials was important to Alec French Architects as the exterior of the new building had to look attractive and inviting for people to visit. Zac commented as to why paving was the chosen material for the grounds: “Block paving offered aesthetic appeal and a permeable solution was needed as part of the sustainable drainage strategy for pedestrian and vehicular areas on site.”
Sustainability was an important factor for the project as the BREEAM rating achieved 57% within the industry standard BREEAM environmental build rating scheme – an impressive rating given that the threshold for ‘very good’ in this scheme is 55%.
The Tobermore South West Sales team presented Alec French Architects with a variety of block paving and permeable paving products and the architect was particularly impressed with Fusion and Hydropave Tegula 240 block paving. Zac noted: “The aesthetics of the Fusion and Hydropave Tegula 240 products were perfect for the campus setting, working well within the historic town setting and with the appearance of the terracotta cladding on the new building.”
Fusion is a modular paving product that is manufactured with a granite aggregate surface layer which produces a modern look similar to natural granite. The contemporary features of Fusion are in great contrast to Hydropave Tegula 240 which is produced with an aged, antique finish and creates a vintage feel. Although the aesthetics of these products differ, they create a beautiful balance of modern and traditional styles when used together.
Hydropave Tegula 240 provides the hugely important functional benefit of meeting SuDS requirements. Hydropave Tegula 240 is a permeable block paving product that is designed to prevent flood issues from arising, and therefore, creates a more sustainable landscape. Tobermore’s Hydropave permeable paving range also offers cost savings of 10-15% over traditional drainage methods, such as pipes, manholes, etc.
Fusion and Hydropave Tegula 240 were specified for the scheme. Zac explained how these products were integrated into the landscape design: “The concept design was to enhance the setting of the Campus with civic presence for multi-use and to provide an integrated landscape to tie the new build wing with the existing elements of the scheme.
“Interspersing differing formats of Tobermore Fusion paving in stretcher bond and select bands allowed great flexibility and enhanced the character of the landscape design. This worked particularly well when extended into the soft landscaping and for select areas of bound aggregate as the tone and textural quality of Fusion worked wonderfully with the wildflower meadow grass landscaping.
“The smaller Fusion sizes were of an appropriate scale, relative to the surrounding areas and helped to visually reduce the scale of the formal civic space.”
Tobermore’s Mayfair Step Flags with delineation markings was also specified for the step areas on site. Like Fusion block paving, Mayfair Step Flags are manufactured with a granite aggregate surface layer that produces a striking, modern appearance. Mayfair Step Flags was the ideal step product to complement the paving products selected.
Springfield Community Campus was successfully completed and opened to the public in late 2015. Zac commented on the project result: “We are extremely pleased with the landscaping which does everything we had hoped for and much more.”
Zac continued: “I love the Tobermore paving that was chosen – it works beautifully. The historic Wiltshire town required high quality materials which was one of the main reasons for using Tobermore products.”