Locate East Sussex is pleased to introduce Flimwell Park, a mixed-use woodland development, bringing business, education, and the environment together.
Ten years in the making, Flimwell Park in East Sussex, is finally coming to the end of its development, design and construction process, which has transformed a woodland space into an inspiring new model for a sustainable woodland community that blends living, working, recreation and learning.
Developers Regalmain Ltd and architect Steven Johnson of the Architect Ensemble have worked with a core team of foresters, ecologists and permaculturists to re-purpose the 46 acres of land that was formerly a disused bird park.
Environmental, social and economic sustainability has been at the heart of the project that has attracted businesses across different sectors to its sustainably sourced timber-built workspaces, including a day spa and a restaurant, headed up by an award-winning chef.
Will Devlin, who has been awarded a Michelin Green Star and head chef of The Smallholding and The Curlew, will be launching Birchwood at Flimwell Park on 6 October.
The restaurant, open daily from 8am – 4pm for breakfast and lunch, will be guided by the landscape and self-sufficiency and focus on flavour found in the natural world. Ingredients will be local, seasonal, homegrown and wild.
Championing the artisan suppliers of Kent and Sussex, the menu will play host to local cheeses, dairy, wines, spirits and beer, while many ingredients, such as mushrooms, brambles, elderberries, wood sorrel and birch sap will be sourced and foraged from the site’s ancient woodland the restaurant overlooks.
Photo Credit: keyandquilluk
Other businesses already in residence include Wild Iris Spa, The Potters Studio, Sugar and Shutter Photography, cyber security company Lepide, co-working space The Hive, sustainable clothing and accessory brand Swole Panda and Quench Cycles.
University College London’s The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL Engineering and The Slade School of Fine Art have been working in conjunction with Flimwell Park for some time and are finalising plans to deliver residencies in architecture, art and engineering courses based upon the design and making of full-scale prototype projects due to begin on-site this autumn.
The Focal Building, which is near completion and the largest building on site, will be the epicentre of learning and teaching opportunities, illustrating how architectural and woodland development can exist in an integrated and symbiotic relationship. This space will also host courses in conjunction with schools and colleges from Kent and East Sussex, as well as other educational institutions.
Steve Johnson, Founder of London-based The Architecture Ensemble and teacher at The Bartlett School of Architecture, commented;
“Flimwell Park has been a 10 year rural development dream come true. We are breathing life back into 22 hectares of unused East Sussex Ancient Woodland, transforming a former brownfield section of the site into a central mixed-use living and working community space that will help the local community and region draw and attract financial and skills investment back into the area.
With UCL and The Bartlett School of Architecture taking residency at Flimwell Park, it will truly be an initiative where education for future, architects, landscape architects, engineers, designers, craftspeople and artists can take centre stage. Once running, these programs will be open to public view in the form of real research projects visibly happening on site and, we hope, in the area too.”
The site also hosts ten subterranean lodges, available as short-term let accommodation for the next few months until The Barlett takes residency. Sleeping up to two people, the lodges offer a comfortable stay for those looking to make the most of their time in the area and are ideal for cycling and walking getaways.
The site will be fully completed in spring 2022 when three highly ecologically advanced private homes will be ready to be occupied. Each home will be built with solar panels, renewable energy systems, rainwater harvesting and air source heat pumps with underfloor heating throughout. The houses will provide a unique opportunity to live in the heart of the beautiful rural setting amongst a vibrant and evolving woodland development.
All timber used on site has been sustainably sourced, with weathering steel used for the window bay cladding. Onsite solar power is generated from 300 photovoltaic cells located on building roofs, cladding, and canopies, with a grid of solar thermal units heating water directly from the sun. The car park SUDS system is made from local stone, geotextile filtering layers and recycled plastic open-grid surfacing making up the Truck Pav system. Six Tesla charging points have been installed, with two more charging points available for other electric car brands.
Director of Regalmain Ltd, Chris O’Callaghan commented;
“The vision was to bring together the local community and to also provide a place for businesses to collaborate and work. With the high standard of sustainable architecture and the managed woodland, Flimwell Park has created an environment that harnesses opportunities for woodland enterprise, recreation, conservation and education whilst harmonising all this with nature. As well as the short term, we are extremely excited what the development will bring to the area – and East Sussex - in the long term too.”
For more information on Flimwell Park, please visit www.flimwellpark.com.
Locate East Sussex views collaborations such as Flimwell Park as the next generation of commercial business space, providing opportunity and community in an attractive and sustainable way. To find out more 'Get in Touch'