BDP plans orchard for community building

An orchard and shaded play space are set to provide green areas for a new community building in Scotland.

Construction on the £7m Bathgate Partnership Centre, designed by BDP, is due to start early next month. The building, being created for West Lothian Council, will house a community centre, library, cafe and creche on its ground floor.

A south-facing enclosed garden and orchard to the rear of the building will enable the ground-floor activities to spill out into an external space.

The garden has been designed as an external room with different spaces defined by materials and planting. It incorporates reading nooks as well as sunny seating and shaded play space. Tree species in the orchard will include apple, pear and plum and they will provide the community groups with fruit for jam making.

The 2,550sq m project is programmed for completion in summer 2011. The building features a sedum roof and incorporates a small-scale gas combined heat and power system, natural ventilation including a solar flue to utilise the stack effect, a heat displacement and recovery system as well as a number of other energy reduction measures.

Meanwhile, BDP's northern team has been winning landscape work in Warrington. The firm will be working on a project to revamp the town's 67-acre Victoria Park, which features a play zone and skate park.

The park was identified as a priority site for future investment and development in Warrington Borough Council's Greenways and Healthy Living strategy.

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