England’s South Downs National Park now features a public-facing complex designed by James Gorst Architects (JGA). Containing a temple, library, chapels, meeting spaces, a public foyer and catering kitchen, the complex, located in Rake, Hampshire, was completed last November.
JGA was awarded the project in 2018 following a two-stage competition that began with a brief to replace the existing dilapidated 1970s structure. The client, The White Eagle Lodge, is an English spiritual organization. JGA associate Steve Wilkinson said the 628-acre park’s landscape is defined by its underlying chalk ridgeline, which stretches from Winchester to the East Sussex coast. The project is sited on a plateau within the park, a vantage point that provides views of the surrounding wooded landscape. Buckinghamshire-based landscape architects McWilliam Studio led the landscape portion of the project, which included gardens, pedestrian pathways, and a reflection pool.