Acting as Employer’s Agent and Principal Designer, Martin Arnold were appointed by Maidstone Borough Council for the construction of a new Café, flexible learning & community space, accessible changing facilities and estates services building.

Set in Maidstone’s 400 acre Mote Park the Mote Park Centre project is part of the second phase of investment of facilities in the park by Maidstone Borough Council [MBC].

Martin Arnold were appointed by MBC following their receipt of Planning Approval and worked with MBC’s procurement team to tender the project locally through the Kent Business Portal. Using a best value tender strategy, bids were assessed on quality and price and the project was awarded to BBS Construction, part of the Chartway Group.

The project entailed the demolition of the existing café, toilet block and estates services buildings, all of which were live operating buildings with specific services that are fundamental to the smooth running of the park.  Using a phased approach, supplemented by temporary facilities and by building a collaborative team we co-ordinated the construction activities with the operational functions of the park to successfully deliver the project.

The new estates services building was delivered first, to allow MBC’s Parks Team to de-cant their existing facility into the new building that had washing & changing facilities and a canteen and kitchenette. The building’s green credentials also meant that it was constructed with PV arrays and EV charging stations and is an all-electric building.

The café was delivered next, using Partial Possession, we were able to allow MBC’s catering tenant early access to the new cafe and kitchen so that they could instruct their fit out contractors to start the installation of the commercial grade kitchen and to prepare the servery and counter zones, as well as furnish the café eating area.

  • Client

    Maidstone Borough Council

  • Contractor

    BBS Construction

  • Contract Value

    £2,700,000

  • Duration

    20 months

  • Address

    Mote Park, Maidstone, Kent, ME15

Lastly the new toilets, Changing Places accessible changing facility and flexible learning and community space were delivered to complete the project.  The accessible change and toilet will now mean that everyone, regardless of their access needs or disability or reliance on the assistance of carers or specialist equipment, can use a toilet facility with dignity and hygienically in Mote Park. The flexible learning and community space has been earmarked for a number of community led activities and will be available for education, courses and local learning.

The striking buildings not only look fantastic, but they have also achieved BREEAM Very Good and it is hoped that they serve the community and visitors to Mote Park well.

Challenges

One of the key challenges was delivering the striking design of the buildings’ elevations, a mixture of glass, zinc seamed cladding and Accoyoa hot and miss cladding, whilst not compromising on the need to create a robust and secure building that sits in the middle of a 440 acre park.

Through design development with the client and contractor working collaboratively a number of measures were used together to create as secure a building as possible without compromising the sleek lines and finishes of the building.

By using integrated roller shutters, hidden within the Accoyoa and zinc cladding, supplemented with high level vandal resistant glass and CCTV and alarm systems we were able to provide large glass elevations for users of the café to get full and varied views of the park during the day, whilst leaving the building secure at night.

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