The Focal Building will be by far the largest single building at Flimwell Park. It will be built mainly over the existing base of the old Bird Park’s visitor’s centre and will make use of the existing foundations and floor. This building will enable us to develop training opportunities and provide a venue for design, making, and research. Our aim is to show how architectural and woodland development can exist in an integrated and mutually beneficial relationship. We hope to run courses in conjunction with schools and colleges from the Kent and East Sussex area, as well as with larger institutions from further afield.
In addition to the main workshop and teaching spaces within the building, the upper roof will be formed by a greenhouse where plants will be propagated for planting on the site. Beyond this greenhouse will be a viewing platform where visitors will gain a spectacular elevated view over the site and beyond to the valley and hills of the High Weald.
The Focal Building will share the same site with the Gallery-Cafe Building, which will be physically linked to the Focal Building standing only six metres away across a covered courtyard. This covered six-metre gap will form the main public welcoming point and gateway into the woodland. It will provide an ideal outdoor space where classes can be held and visitors can gain an introduction to the project and the woodland.