Flimwell Park, a pioneering mixed use sustainable woodland development in East Sussex, has been completed after a decade of consultation, planning and construction. Formerly Flimwell Bird Park, the site is located within an AONB in the heart of East Sussex.
The park includes a series of eight timber two-storey work spaces built on stilts, a 900 m2 focal building and rooftop greenhouse and adjacent restaurant space. The design of the project straddled the Brexit referendum, the pandemic and the tragic Grenfell Tower fire.
The result of all of this is a mixed-use woodland-based project becoming an exposition of material choices driven by rapidly changing supply chains, material cost increases, structural and fire engineering, and visual aesthetics. In many cases, the final result was a series of positive surprises of both a functional and a visual nature.
For example, the shift from solid timber galvanized steelconnected diagonal bracing to all-galvanized steel bracing resulted in far thinner structural members supporting elevated buildings dramatically improving views into and out of the adjacent woodland through the legs of the suspended small workshop buildings.
Another good example was the dramatic shift of the main access way for the small workshops – a 60 m long bridge – from timber to galvanized steel created a glimmering almost ethereal band running across the main interface between the built and the woodland worlds.
Photos © Shootlab