Sir Bernard Lovell Building

A new archive building for a large regional police force.

West Mercia Constabulary
Completed 2013
Exterior of an archive centre.

Buttress was appointed as architects by West Mercia Constabulary to design a new archive building for the storage of post-trial paper records, magnetic tapes and evidence. 

Our client’s aim was to create a 21st century storage facility with flagship sustainability credentials in a secure and environmentally controlled location. 

The building is designed as two units with flexibility in plan to allow for future expansion. The majority of the main building shall hold paper based evidence with a smaller integrated cold room for out-sized items and DNA based evidence. Internally the general arrangement of the main building is composed of four key elements:

Exterior of an archive centre.
Exterior of an archive centre.

The principle aim of the design has been to create a low impact, discreet building that blends into the low undulating character of the surrounding grassland. 

Archive store storage on three levels, where documents and media can be stored, with a controlled environment with a minimum temperature of 100C to protect content during the winter months. 

The principle aim of the design has been to create a low impact and discreet building that sits into the landscape blending the building into the low undulating character of the surrounding grassland. A simple curved roof form has been adopted with a planted sedum covering. The proposed elevational treatment to these buildings is deliberately low key, adopting the stone-filled gabion cladding of the main building.

The site is also adjacent to the National Trust’s Croome Park and Gardens. Croome Park is a Grade I listed landscape was ‘Capability’ Brown’s first complete landscape. A great deal of consultation has been undertaken throughout the design process to ensure that our new building is sensitive to the vista and key views afforded within this property and gardens.

Image credits 

Alastair Carew-Cox

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