MARLBOROUGH: ARA – THE DART
Neil Phillips was priviledged to work on this incredible building when he was with T H Barnes, prior to him joining Scott Construction.
The core of The Dart’s design concept and its form is the idea that ARA’s buildings have an intimate and direct relationship with their landscape and environment. The dynamic form of the roof folds down over to the north-west and the south-west, working to shelter the courtyard from the site’s harsh winds. At the same time the site rises up to cradle the building’s western end. Beneath this arrowhead, large areas of storage are housed as well as workshops.
The main entrance to the building is located at the eastern end, easily accessed from the carpark. Generous cafeteria and office areas are designed to open out with ease and flexibility to the garden. The Dart is designed as an oasis and a haven; a place for staff to rest, socialise, and to plan together as a team.
Materials used are almost exclusively natural materials with low maintenance finishes. The building is designed to be as substantial as possible within the budget available. The exterior cladding is exposed aggregate concrete panels, and internally there is extensive use of interior grade plywood linings. The building is over 80 metres long, 45 metres wide, with 100 metres width of garaging bays. The main cafeteria space seats more than a hundred people.