HERO Calvert Trust

Calvert Trust Kielder, Kielder Water and Forest Park

Calvert Trust Kielder is based within Kielder Water and Forest Park, Northumberland and provides residential accommodation and outdoor activities for people with disabilities, their families and friends.

In 2009 a design team lead by Jane Darbyshire and David Kendall Ltd (JDDK) were appointed to produce a Masterplan, and subsequent planning application, which would express the socially inclusive goals of the Trust, re-orientating the complex to present an open and inviting interface to passing traffic, while ensuring the site is both secure and allows guests to feel they are in a tranquil respite community.

The proposals are therefore for a new Activity and Visitor Hub to be open to both residents and the general public, 15 additional chalets, improved landscaping and external activity areas and car parking. As the delivery of the proposals is subject to funding the proposals have been designed so that they can be developed in phases.

The new Activity and Visitor Hub is orientated on sustainable principles, and the building forms a gateway to the rest of the site and its activity facilities beyond.

The building form has been inspired by its natural setting. The concept of the roof is of leaf forms as if landing on the linear floor plans of a smaller footprint below, the gently curved shapes rising to suit the functions inside. The over sailing roofs provide both protection from the elements and solar shading while also reinforcing the protective nature of Calvert Trust Kielder and the natural qualities of the site.

Throughout the entire design process JDDK have worked closely with both landscape architects Glen Kemp to ensure an integrated approach both in terms of the landscape design and features but also the design of the Activity and Visitor Hub and chalets. This collaborative approach has enriched the design process creating building and landscape designs that respond to their setting.

The first of a planned 15 fully accessible, self-catering chalets at the Calvert Trust’s Kielder Water & Forest Park Centre has now been completed as part of a successful planning application for a £10m scheme to remodel the existing activity centre and create a new visitor centre complete with accommodation.

The design of the spacious three bedroom bungalow, which enjoys a superb views from the fully glazed gable end over a private patio and onto the forest, has been inspired by its natural setting. The gently curving roof mirrors leaf forms to suit the functions inside.

The Trust hope to complete the main visitor centre and further chalets once fund raising has been successful