RICS East of England Regeneration Award

Rainham Marshes Visitor Centre, Essex | van Heyningen & Haward

The scheme had a complicated brief from the beginning and has had to reach several goals to adhere to the requirements set out by client the RSPB. It is  a visitor centre for the RSPB Rainham Marshes in east London, 12 miles from central London, in 870 acres of Thames-side marshes between Purlfeet and Rainham. It had to be vandal proof, because vandalism was rife in this area when the building was being planned. It also had a green brief with the RSPB team looking for a BREEAM rating of Excellent. And it has to act as an environmental education centre, and counter weight concerns by the Environment Agency about the integrity of the River Thames wall. 
These fears were allayed by deep-bore rammed piled that were sunk 19m into the ground and had to be closely monitored. The building is therefore unusual to say the least. With a budget of £2.2m and a raft of things it had to achieve it is no wonder it's now regarded highly by the industry as a real success. 

Source: BD Online