Bute Park, Cardiff
DSA were appointed by Cardiff City Council to design a Nursery Education and Training Centre at the heart of the grade I listed Bute Park.
The building is the hub of educational activities within the park, providing a resource for schools, families, special interest groups together with Cardiff Council's horticultural apprentices and administrative staff. The dedicated facilities include a classroom and archive room which house a variety of resources on park heritage, natural history and environmental themes, and a popular public courtyard café.
The concept of the centre plays on the idea of a secret garden, the building being accessed through a huge oak door within a new brick wall. The panels of the door were designed by local wood carvers via an open ''Peoples Door'' competition, and help to tell the parks' history through their imagery. Inspired by the Black Friars that once lived in the park, Michael Davies designed and sculpted the main panel, a monk in prayer and cast in metal.
The high performance timber clad building was procured via a contractor’s ‘design and detail’ lump sum contract with DSA appointed to provide information to an ‘enhanced’ Building Regulations level.