We are passionate about both cricket and rural design and therefore this competition was a super opportunity to showcase our experience to a community that is very local to us. As cricketers and trustees of a cricket club ourselves, we understand the importance of light on a match, how club grounds are managed, and above all, the complications of funding arrangements and the requirements of the ECB.
Sessay is a linear village grain typical of the locality with a scattering of farmsteads set further in the landscape. We have taken these farmsteads as a starting point for the design. The new community hub is located at the intersection of the two proposed pitches with direct views to the centre of the squares accessed from the main road in the manner of the surrounding farms. The community hall addresses the bowling green, proposed children’s play and MUGA.
Due to the complex requirements of the brief, it was felt that a single building would be too dominating for the largely flat landscape and not in the scale of the village. Instead we looked at breaking down the form into three barn-like structures arranged around a central courtyard. This enables two of the ‘barns’ to focus directly on the centre of the squares on each of the two pitches.
Since the cluster will be seen from the road, the two barns that face south west mirror that of the local scale and materials with brick elevations and steep pan-tile roofs. The gables are recessed into the form to create terraces and windows are set within deep reveals. The third barn, which sits at the back of the cluster and faces the new pitch, adopts the language of a modern barn with vertical Yorkshire boarding on a brick plinth. The pitch is a steep mono pitch roof that faces south presenting a roof for photovoltaic panels.
Currently the site is exposed to the road with little definition apart from a row of beech trees that have a severe fungal disease. We propose to replace these trees with a wider landscaped footpath that brings users into the site, the edge of which will be defined with native hedgerows and trees. A new ‘Village Green’ is then created on the existing pitch when the square is protected/fenced off. This will create a facility that will be central to the life of the village and surrounding area.
If you are a cricket club looking for new premises, do give us a call, and why not download our competition boards for a closer look at our scheme.