Kent Wildlife Trust seeks architect for new Sevenoaks attraction

Sevenoaks Nature Reserve

Source: HW Atkins

Sevenoaks Nature Reserve

Architects are being sought to design a £2 million visitor centre with a wellness twist for a Kent nature reserve.

Kent Wildlife Trust is seeking designers for a new “nature and wellbeing centre” at its Sevenoaks reserve in a just-launched RIBA Competitions fray.

Documents connected with the competition say the centre is envisaged as a “hub for engaging local people and communities in an exemplary volunteer-led advocacy programme” using local skills, knowledge and talent.

The project brief sets a goal for the centre to be a “county leader” in outdoor education for children, young people and adults, heralding “innovation, creativity and the engagement of unique partnerships” in the process.

RIBA Competitions said the centre should have elements that can accommodate wildlife as well as people, and be “a natural companion and complement to the reserve it serves”, building connections with nature and bearing in mind “outcomes” for staff and centre-users.

Kent Wildlife Trust chief executive officer John Bennett said the organisation’s aim for the Sevenoaks project was a “truly innovative response”.

“We are extremely proud of Sevenoaks Wildlife Reserve and its history and it deserves the ingenuity, inventiveness and innovation that we know RIBA Competitions will deliver through their global community of architects,” he said.

“This competition will serve to provide a unique space for people to really understand their connection with nature and its impact on all of us.”

Teams are asked to submit designs for the initial phase anonymously and in digital format only, ahead of a deadline of 2pm on December 5.

Four concept designs will then be shortlisted for development at the second phase. More details are available at: