EcoHub in Lordship Park: Anne Thorne Architects

The Eco-hub is the centrepiece of the regeneration and transformation of the historic Lordship Recreation Grounds and has been commissioned by Haringey Council.  It will provide teaching space for environmental education, a multi-purpose community space for community organisations including the Lordship Rec mother and toddler group, a public a café near the playground and the lake, with kitchen and public WCs, and a boot room for Park volunteers. 

The orientation and layout of the building responds to the surrounding landscaping and topography of the site which will maximise passive solar gain, with a glazed south facade with inbuilt solar shading and natural ventilation to prevent summer overheating.

The building is single storey, balanced on the axis of the historic hedge. A green roof reflects the sloping hill of the site – a lifted section of roof breaks the length of the elevation, allowing light to flood into the building and warm air out in the summer. This roof also provides a perfectly orientated slope for PV panels as well as continuing the line of the hedgerow used by bats to navigate the lake at dusk.  Anne Thorne Architects have designed a building for Lordship Rec that uses a palette of renewable materials, from low-impact timber foundations and primary frame, to natural insulation materials and non-toxic finishes such as clay plasters, rubber flooring and natural paints.

The Eco-hub has been designed to the Passivhaus standard to minimise its energy use in operation. This super-insulated, super-airtight building will require minimal heating, dramatically reducing the running costs of the building and minimising its CO2 emissions. The main design components of a building designed to the Passivhaus standard are excellent insulation and airtightness, triple glazing and heat recovery ventilation (MVHR).  One of the best airtightness results for strawbale building has been achieved here at 1.2m3/h.m2@50Pa, the building easily wins the AECB silver energy standard – formal Silver Certification is underway! The final airtightness test result of this challenging project will be available soon.

One of the most innovative aspects of the building is its use of straw bale wall construction, a waste product of the agricultural industry. As well as providing a valuable opportunity for the local community to be involved in the buildings construction as volunteers, straw is super insulating, and locks in CO2 absorbed during its growth period. Along with gabion wall protection, the straw bale walls are a robust but friendly building element.

The Eco-hub will be open part of London Open House and Lordship Rec Festival on Saturday 22nd September from 1:00 to 5:00pm.

For more information please contact Anne Thorne Architects LLP on 020 7749 6931/2 or visit