8th Chester Sea Scouts

VALUE: £240,000

ON SITE: November 1998

Jimsul Construction

PROGRAMME: 36 weeks


Scout Headquarters, Chester

The new headquarters building for the 8th Chester Sea Scouts is located in the heart of one of the city’s principle urban regeneration areas – The Old Port of Chester. This triangle sandwiched between the rail viaduct approaching from the south west and the tidal stretches of the Dee was, until the early 20th Century, a working port.

The Scout Headquarters draws references from the maritime past, to solve the Scouts’ practical needs with a building that evokes something of the local heritage. And so a form evolved which is directly inspired by the medieval trading vessels with their high ‘stern castles’. The idea was well received but clearly the budget was going to be a constraint, so great efforts were made to contain cost. Extra support for the scheme was achieved through its practical contribution to the community and its place-making function in the regeneration programme. Steel portal frames standing (appropriately) on a raft slab were chosen as the structural system.

Much debate went into whether to clad horizontally or vertically. In the end it was more economical to curve the bearing members round the frames and not try and curve the timber cladding. This will also make long term maintenance more straightforward. The profiled sheet chosen for the roof is deliberately white to draw reference to sails folded along a boom. This was the only new building to win an award in the Cities’ Millennium Civic Awards.

Please download the development profile sheet here.