VESP architects were selected from a shortlist of 5 architects to produce designs for a new-build village hall in the small village of Broadhempston. The project was to be Lottery and Sports England funded, and the clients had high aspirations for a building that would be the hub of the community and have good environmental credentials. A design developed that broke the mould with an L-shaped plan that framed a new village green. Being on the edge of the village and sitting in front of stunning South Hams hillsides, the curved, sloping grass roof presented a softer, low-profile appearance to the village.
Planning permission was attained, and tender prices were sought. Unfortunately, due to cost constraints and a change in funding availability, the design had to be revisited. Whilst the plan form and internal volume was essentially retained, the external envelope had to be dramatically reduced in cost. The solution was to use a simple palette of timber cladding and standing-seam steel roof, both with a black finish, to provide something that was simple and cost-effective to construct, but had character. Areas of the building were finished in bright orange to highlight key features, both externally and internally.
Coyde Construction, a contractor local to the area, offered to take the project on to ensure the village got their new hall. Their eye for detail during construction ensured its finish was crisp and precise. Although there was some reservation when the unusual black building was proposed, the materials actually glisten in the sunshine, and the appearance is now well-loved by the local residents.
Completed in 2016, the local community came together to undertake the external landscaping; the payback of which was a bloom of wildflowers and lush grass the following Spring. Although the project had its difficulties in realisation, credit should be given to all the parties involved, as hard work and persistence has provided the village with a unique and successful new space to enjoy for years to come.
For more information contact us here, or visit the village hall website .