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Scarratt and Martyn

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BernardsPersp

moorland residential centre, Belstone

A limited competition entry for a Christian study centre and retreat on the edge of High Dartmoor and the banks of the river Taw.

The new building is aligned along the site contours and raised on screw piles to avoid difficulties with traditional foundations on the moorland site strewn with granite boulders. A steeply sloping mono-pitch roof provides a sheltering canopy for the principal, communal meeting and dining space, an external verandah-like area for group activities, and a glazed entrance lobby. The secondary mono-pitch roof on the more private, wooded side of the site provides bunkrooms and related sanitary facilities.

Understated local materials - timber, stone and slate - are utilised to give the building an appearance that will blend with the textures and colours of the moorland landscape. The roof form and deep eaves contribute to the environmental strategy for the new building which exploits stack-effect and solar gain to provide natural ventilation and reduce heating costs.