We are delighted to have been granted planning permission for the conversion of this redundant Royal Observation Corps Monitoring Post which occupies an elevated position within the undulating topography of the South Downs National Park and surrounding farmland.
This is one of 1,500 underground structures, built for nuclear monitoring and operated by volunteers during the Cold War period. The ten-inch-thick reinforced concrete structure is accessed down a vertical laddered shaft to the accommodation below, comprising a separate toilet and monitoring room which also doubled up as the living quarters for the two operatives.
Most of these posts were closed in 1968 during a reorganisation of the Royal Observation Corps, with the remaining posts gradually closing over the next 40 years, the last of which closed in 1991. Many have since been demolished or adapted to other uses, but the majority still exist, although in a derelict state.
We were commissioned by a private client to sympathetically extend and remodel the current structure, both internally and externally to provide overnight accommodation, for walkers and cyclists traversing the Southdown Way between Eastbourne and Winchester.
A contemporary yet serviceable approach was adopted for this project, with an emphasis on retaining the historic integrity of the existing structure and reinforcing its utilitarian character, while the later wings would be expressed as modern additions with contrasting texture and finish to the external façade.
Our brief was to establish a future use for this redundant bunker, and create serviceable yet comfortable accommodation, larger than the original structure, but designed in such a way to reduce the effect of any size increase, partly by its shape and form and partly with a sensitive palette of external materials, while ensuring an appropriate relationship with the surrounding landscape and a nod to the memory of the original Royal Observation Corps Monitoring Post.
Energy efficient technologies will control the services, and the inclusion of rainwater harvesting, and grey water storage will form part of a holistic approach for carbon reduction and energy use.
If you like what you see and are considering a building project, we would be very happy to discuss this with you without any obligation. You can get in touch directly using the contact details provided below or calling the office on 01243 859510. We look forward to hearing from you.