Architects Draft Design Statement

Proposed Ski & Ice Leisure Centre
Wycombe Summit
Abbey Barn Lane
High Wycombe

Existing Site

There is only one entrance to the site off Abbey Barn Lane leading to an extensive parking area.

The site contains an open ski run of two main slopes and nursery slopes on the hillside of Deangarden Wood, an established wood of approximately 80 acres. A recent fire has destroyed the former ancillary building basically leaving a hole in the hillside. The building was in the style of a log cabin with pitched roofs.

Proposal

The main principles were to retain existing ground levels as much as possible and keep the building low enough to minimise the impact on the skyline. The existing areas to be covered, with additional area for a maintenance workshop and plant room dictate the footprint of the proposal. The need to remove any trees has been kept to the minimum.

To avoid unnecessary excavation it is proposed that the ancillary accommodation is located in the same position that was occupied by the existing building, although in any case this position is most suitable to service the main slopes and contains the same accommodation as before.

The ancillary section is similar in style to the former and defines the building to approach for the ski activity, its roof height is near to that of the fire damaged cabin.

The roof to the main ski slope presented the problem of size and mass in the hillside, the solution was to use a curved roof, which reduces in height towards the eaves, and the whole roof is parallel to the slope. The roof height is the minimum to ensure the safety of the skiers inside.

The remainder of the development unlike the ski run has it's axis across the direction of the slope, this has been used to keep the height down by having similar column lengths at the upper and lower levels combined with an asymmetrical ridge produced by different roof pitches, these are shown on the proposed sections.

Draft Design Statement.

The plan follows the line of the existing car park to minimise changes in the existing ground line. Within this is the Ice Rink with its entrance clearly separate from the Ski facility, the raised section of the entrance which houses a function suite is used to change the direction and terminate the roofs of the Nursery slope and the Ice Rink.

The car park area is essentially the same footprint as the existing also using coloured tarmacadam to define roadways, parking and pedestrian routes. A detailed landscape scheme will obviously be produced and this will have to be sympathetic to the location.

Materials

With the exception of the ski slope entrance building the majority of the roof will have a sedum (green roof) finish. This is green in terms of the environment and not strictly it's colour as this may vary with greens, browns, yellows and reds depending upon the final selection of the cover. This colour is also seasonal and dulls down in the winter. Below the sedum finish is a single ply membrane forming the waterproof seal to the building.

The ski slope entrance building and some areas of flat roof are to be finished in the single ply membrane. It has been selected because of it's range of colours and it's flexibility as it can be used on both curved and pitched roofs, there are also some flat roof areas that link the various sections at different plan angles. Dark grey is proposed because this can blend in with shadows and after an initial period dulls down to give the appearance of lead or zinc

The walls are to be clad in timber possibly with a stained finish although consideration should be given to a natural colour; various samples will have to be submitted showing the weathered colour. Immediately opposite the site are timber-clad farm buildings so this choice also fits in with the surroundings. Below the timber on the car park (main elevation) side will be a plinth of natural flint stone, it's use will extend into the external works forming the finish to various retaining wall structures.

John Flavell BA (Hons), Dip.Arch. R.I.B.A.

For JKF Ltd

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