Our Vision


7 December 2020

A Simple Concept

To provide a creative space in the heart of the community where people can come together to make, craft and repair, share techniques and learn new skills. To provide opportunities for people to get involved in community projects, working as a team to help improve our local environment and our amenities. To provide a safe, inspiring, supportive, inclusive, welcoming environment that brings people together. Through our activities it is hoped to encourage new friendships to grow. We hope our organisation will be of benefit to the mental health and general wellbeing of everyone involved.

The Toilet Block

The unused toilet block in Fordingbridge Recreation Ground
The unused toilet block in Fordingbridge Recreation Ground
The old toilet block, although in a dilapidated state of repair, offers a huge opportunity. Its location is in the heart of Fordingbridge Recreation Ground and is easily reached by foot, bicycle, public transport or car. Ideal. With some vision, finance and effort it can be transformed into a valuable asset for the benefit of Fordingbridge and the wider community. We hope to repurpose the disused building in a sustainable way and provide it with a sustainable, worthwhile future.

The Vision

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We have been working with Fields of Architecture, a new Fordingbridge architectural practice run by Dale and Lucy Whitfield.

Their creative, innovative, and purposeful design concept for the old toilet block is, we feel, both inspiring and practical. Fields of Architecture have worked closely with the NFDC Planning Department who have given every indication that they would be supportive of the proposed scheme.

The proposed scheme has been designed to be constructed in phases over a period of time. The first phase will involve the refurbishment and renovation of the toilet block. This development will create an open flexible space which can be used for a variety of activities. It will also incorporate a fully accessible toilet. Being inclusive is a fundamental principle.

As demand for the facilities grows and funding allows, a second building is proposed to be constructed. This proposed building will be built to the north of the toilet block with a paved courtyard area linking the structures. It will provide additional flexible work space. In addition to workshop space it is envisaged that the creation of a new building will enable one of the areas in the complex to be used as a social space for people to interact. This area could house a small library of practical books and provide a venue for talks by guest speakers or be used to host evening classes. We hope to build a flexible, dynamic and well designed environment that is able to inspire, empower and support.

A creative, vibrant and inclusive place.

Proposed view from the south-west, with the rose garden and skate park behind
Proposed view from the south-west, with the rose garden and skate park behind
Proposed view looking towards the river
Proposed view looking towards the river
A possible alternative style to the outside of the buildings
A possible alternative style to the outside of the buildings
Proposed elevations
Proposed elevations
Proposed floor plan
Proposed floor plan

A Note from the Architects

Our ambition is to retain the old toilet block in its current form with its brickwork façade. This is simply to retain the heritage of the structure, whilst creating opportunities to contrast it with our future vision.

The intention is to thermally upgrade the toilet block by internally lining it with insulation, both to the walls and roof, and to replace the existing concrete tiles. The insulation will help to keep the running costs of the building down and create a more sustainable community asset.

The proposed additional building intends to contrast with the toilet block, with a sleek, contemporary, corrugated metal façade, that will be minimalistic in appearance. Corrugated metal is the material of choice as It will be hard wearing, whilst creating a design reference to materials used on traditional workshop sheds. Using a material such as this also opens up opportunities to prefabricate the structure, speeding up build time and keeping costs down.

The corrugated metal would also lend itself to graffiti art and would also be an opportunity to get youthful members of Fordingbridge involved in its design. Professional, Fordingbridge themed, graffiti on one of the buildings gables would create a striking and unique finish that all members of the community could appreciate, and hopefully minimise the risk of anti-social graffiti on other areas of the building.

The scale and mass of the building has been designed to reference the toilet block to remain in keeping with the area. Lockable timber shutters have been included on both buildings for additional security to any large areas of glazing, whilst also providing interest and contrast. Once open, these shutters will also emphasise the entrances to the building and guide people in.

The scheme has been designed to be approached from both sides of the park. The existing path to the south running adjacent to the skate park and recreation field will lead directly to the proposed main entrance, whilst the staggered additional building will help draw people into the courtyard when approached from the park.

The integration of a semi-enclose courtyard between the two structures will create an additional working and social area. This area would be perfect for both afternoon activities in the summer and winter and would present opportunities for a canopy to be attached between the two structures to create a temporary covered area.’

Dale Whitfield Architect BA(Hons) M.Arch, PG Dip, ABR