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New-build, PassivHaus

  • Location

    York

  • Project Cost

    £750 - £1m

Since 1981 1st Holgate Scout Group has been successfully engaging and developing young people. Leading up to 2010, the Group recognised it needed to look for a site to create its own centre. In 2011, Mass Architecture were commissioned to complete a feasibility study for a new low-energy ‘Passivhaus’ building on land adjacent to Acomb Primary School.

Mass advised on a suitable design team that carried out site analysis and options appraisals. Costed sketch proposals were then developed, so that consultation could take place with the education and planning departments within the local authority as well as residents and the school community.

The brief was to create accommodation for the group, as well as an after-school club with accompanying outdoor space.

Design Influences and Appearance

The adjacent primary school, built in the 1980s has a very distinctive circular plan form which we used as our starting point. The concept was to create something that looks like a break-away fragment that uses that same ‘cranked’ plan. The plan ‘bends’ inwards to the north and encloses a forecourt. The rear side has large south facing roof pitches that house solar panels.

The specific requirements for the hall led to high level windows and larger expanses of wall on the exterior. The idea was to break these up using a palette of simple materials such as brick and timber and to incorporate a climbing wall.