Dobbies Garden World, Ashford, Kent

The Dobbies Garden World in Ashford is part of the Eureka Leisure Park, to the west of the city. It’s the most southerly of all Dobbies developments within the UK.

The Leisure Park is constructed on the site of a former quarry, and the Dobbies store is at the main entrance, providing a gateway building to the rest of the park. The overall construction of the area was ongoing as we designed and worked on the garden centre and retail development for Dobbies. As such, we had to be careful in designing the pedestrian and vehicle access, to integrate seamless into the rest of the retail park and the town beyond.

The building itself is a timber glulam structure, providing strength and flexibility outside the capabilities of solid wood. This enabled us to select external wall cladding that made the most of the natural daylight.
The simple palette of external materials included timber cladding, and local Kentish rag stone cladding, reflecting the situation and surroundings of the building.

The building itself has since achieved a BREEAM “Excellent” Award, recognising its environmental sustainability. The design incorporated rainwater collection and water saving measures, along with wildflower borders and cycling access for staff and customers.

Client: Dobbies Garden Centres Plc
Status: Completed February 2011