Burnley Green Space, Offshoots Building
a volunteer- built community workroom and store - a visit by Mary Kelly

A single storey building built in the grounds of the Natural History Centre at Towneley Park in Burnley. The planted roof, deep overhang and built in bench creates a nice sitting-out and working area adjoining the front entrance. Access is over a timber decking path which forms a bridge from the main route through the site. Plans for future development include provision of reed beds and a pond as the ground conditions are wet and these additions would make sense in the Natural History context.

The building itself consists of one large room used as a workroom by groups with support needs who work on painting, mosaic work, clay work, wood cutting, planting seedlings and other activities which make links between art, gardening, outside activities and therapeutic support. Additionally short courses in things like yurt building are offered.

The building was designed and built primarily by Chris Coates and Peter Wilshaw with assistance from volunteers. In addition to being used by different groups it also has to function as a store for materials used during wildlife / garden / art work so there are lots of shelves with canes, pots, bits of yurt etc.

The building collects rainwater for use in the gardens. It has a solar panel and small windmill on the roof which provide sufficient electricity for the overhead lights. Power points are connected to the mains.

Chris Coates and Peter Wilshaw are currently working on building some houses in Stoke on Trent, and have been involved locally in several other, Segal type buildings, including:

  • A community building at Wimbury Wood, Bacup Road, Burnley
  • A bird hide for school groups, with recycled water facilities, in Nelson, Lancashire
  • Another Green Space building in Burnley

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