Midlands & East Anglia

Avon Estates’ new clubhouse taking shape

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Avon Park Riverside Clubhouse

Taking advantage of panoramic river and countryside views the Riverside Clubhouse, set beside the River Avon in the picturesque Avon Park, is on schedule to open its doors later this year.

Local Evesham based contractor, Desertoak ltd are the main contractor on the development, which when complete will provide facilities including a bar and restaurant, a head office for Avon Estates and conference facilities over 2 floors.

The new clubhouse will have a floorspace of 18,400 sq ft and its footprint broadly replaces that of six buildings which were demolished. The building has been constructed using a technique quite uncommon to the UK, as Architect Simon Kirton explained:

“Riverside Clubhouse is a highly sustainable building that Emission Zero have designed with Alexey Chikovsky of Fram the company that have constructed the log shell element of the building. Emission Zero specialise in sustainable building design closely linking architecture with mechanical / electrical system design, taking a holistic approach towards low energy buildings.

Avon Park Riverside Clubhouse

“The building adopts a rather unique kind of construction to the UK called log shell; this is where the fabric of the building has been made entirely from green timber sections. The length of tree trunk is simply stripped of its bark and then formed into a section called a ‘laft’ which is then staked and jointed one over the other to form a wall; the walls are 260mm thick solid timber sections, which requires a highly skilled carpentry operation to make it all fit together.”

Typically this method of construction is used in countries such as Russia, North America, and northern Europe where the temperature can get very low. When asked why this method was used is Stratford, Simon said:

“The timber aesthetic that we have used for this building provides a wonderfully honest form of sustainable construction in that you can see almost all the carpentry details from the inside and out. The building was designed from a precedent of an upturned boat hull, a form which is expressed in the roof structure of the new building, providing a link between the building and eth adjacent River Avon.

With last year being one of the highest on record for rainfall the construction did run into some difficulties. In November the site was covered by nearly two meters of water, this caused the timber to become warped and only through intricate restoration work was the team able to recreate the timber sections as they should have been.

Avon Park Riverside Clubhouse

Director of Avon Estates, Nicholas Allen acknowledged the river created difficulties, he said: “The River Avon is our greatest asset and our greatest liability. The river is what draws visitors to our parks, but it also brings occasional floods and as a company we are always striving to eliminate the disruption and damage caused.”

The clubhouse is currently entering the finishing stages of construction, with contracts now being tendered for the finishing packages.

Simon Kirton is the joint Director of Emission Zero, the company was formed several years ago with the aim of providing highly sustainable architectural solutions for clients. Speaking about the company, Simon said: “We look at highly sustainable designs and we marry that with a complete understanding of how a building performs.”

Avon Estates ltd’s three caravan parks combine to be the largest visitor accommodation facility in Stratford-upon-Avon.

Guests at Riverside Park can enjoy a river taxi service which is available daily throughout the season (weather permitting) giving a picturesque journey into Stratford upon Avon. There is also around a mile of free fishing on the River Avon for those staying at the park, for more information please visit: www.stratfordcaravans.co.uk.

Avon Park Riverside Clubhouse

Desertoak Ltd

For more than 26 years Desertoak Ltd has provided expert services across a range of sectors within the construction industry, from high end residential and retail projects, to heritage sites, commercial properties and health care facilities. Over the years Desertoak Ltd has worked for many prestigious clients, including Vertu, Gieves & Hawkes, DeBeers, TAG Heuer and are currently managing an £11 million refurbishment project for a Saudi Prince.

Desertoak Ltd, is the main contractor on the new Riverside Clubhouse at Riverside Leisure Park for Avon Estates. Commenting on the project, Desertoak Ltd Director, Barry Downey, said:

“Riverside will be the largest spruce log constructed building of this style in Europe and we are delighted to be involved with this unique and exciting project.”

Barry added:

“At Desertoak Ltd we are very proud of our commitment to each job. Our goal is to complete all projects, to the highest standards possible, whilst maintaining a safe working environment throughout.”

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