Bentley Park, Doncaster

Client: Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council

Bentley Park sits to the north west of Doncaster and was opened in 1923. The park and subsequent development of the pavilion were funded by the Miners' Welfare Fund. Facilities included gardens, tennis courts, a bandstand, bowling greens and children's play area.

As part of the team led by TGP Landscape Architects (North), the practice has recently been involved with two buildings as part of the Borough Council's bid for Heritage Lottery Funding - The Pavilion, built in 1931 and also reinstating the Bandstand. The Pavilion is made up of a mix of styles but its unusual feature is that it was constructed in reinforced 'Ferro' concrete using the 'Hennebique' system. The building is the principal civic building in the community and includes vaulted ceilings, arches and classical columns inside.

Our task was to analyse the existing spaces and usages and to re-plan the building to take into account the wishes of the local community and user groups, whilst also enhancing the building's somewhat tired appearance. In order to re-establish the link with the park, the rear side is opened up with additional accommodation added to provide a café and ice cream parlour, extended bar, kitchen facility and new toilets, all leading out onto a new terrace. These additions respect the symmetrical nature of the building and match the existing character and materials.

The Bandstand at Bentley Park has been removed for some time. After providing a number of alternative contemporary and traditional solutions to the project board, a solution has been adopted which echos the original historic, pitched tiled roof precedent and provides a low level dais and accessible performance space.

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