London boroughs vie to host Green centre

A £30m eco-building designed by architect Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios is to be built to house the group of environmental organisations known as The Greenhouse.

The umbrella organisation was recently branded by CDT Design and consists of a growing group of environmental institutions. The building will also take the name The Greenhouse and will be based in a site still to be determined in London.

As well as being a shared, affordable workspace for 300 staff, the 21 000 m2 building will house a conference centre, media suite and resource centre, along with public spaces including a bookshop and an organic or ethical restaurant.

The building will contain a flexible office space where organisations and individuals can gather to discuss notions of sustainability.

Rachel Sayers, project architect at Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, says, ‘We have designed The Greenhouse with a double-height studio space, incorporating a series of mezzanines that let light into the building and will encourage people working there to be sociable.’

Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios are proposing a panelled, timber structure for the frame and floor plates of the building.

Ashley Parasram, project manager for The Greenhouse says, ‘The modular office design is flexible and works because, as an environment charity, we are funded in the short term so are never sure how our workforce might evolve. This design leaves room for development.’

It is claimed that a number of London boroughs are vying to host the building. Pasaram says that Southwark, Islington and Camden are interested and discussions are taking place with planning authorities to see where the building would work best.

Once a site has been chosen, building work will start in March 2009.

The Greenhouse partners are the International Institute for Environment and Development, Panos London, Forum for the Future, the Foundation for International Environmental Law and Development, the Television Trust for the Environment, Lead International and the Institute for European Environmental Policy.

Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios won a three–way competition against Wilkinson Eyre and Sheppard Robson to win the contract.

All three competition entries will be presented at the Ecobuild exhibition in London’s Earls Court on 26-28 February. The winning design will be on display at London’s The Building Centre in March.

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