DREAM Centre


Chailey Heritage Foundation

Contract Sum:

£1,900,000 (2018)


We were tasked with converting and extending an existing school hall into a multipurpose facility in the project brief. Furthermore, this new facility needed to accommodate all the young people with profound physical and health needs at Chailey Heritage.

The new facility, located at the heart of the foundation’s campus, includes a 4D immersive space, a rebound therapy area, and a sports hall suitable for wheelchair sports. Furthermore, the hall serves as a performing arts space, complete with changing areas and a commercial kitchen.

Photo Credit: Jim Stephenson

We designed the building to harmoniously blend in with several historically significant structures, including the Grade II listed St. Martin’s Church. It met the demands of the brief without imposing an overpowering or insensitive addition to its context.

Most importantly, we ensured that the spaces fully accommodate the specific needs of the Chailey young people. Accessibility features include hygiene rooms, hoisting facilities, a concealed wheelchair tracking system, ramp access to the stage, and automated doors.

The stage area incorporates movable partitions that transform it into a trampoline room, ingeniously hiding the trampoline beneath the stage. Additionally, the trampoline room doubles as a 4D Immersive Space. Users of the space, the young people of Chailey, can control dynamic stage scenery through smart projectors.

The main hall area serves for both Wheelchair sports and wheelchair driving and provides an additional trampoline space with dedicated storage beneath and to the side of the stage.

We equipped the building with a bespoke air handling system featuring mechanical heat recovery. As a result, this system allows the user to closely control the building’s temperature according to their needs. To prevent sports damage, we integrated automatic blinds into the building’s glazing. What’s more, users of the space can also control feature coloured lighting to create a bespoke environment.

In our conversion of the original Memorial Hall, the project team made every effort to preserve as much of the existing fabric as possible. For this reason, we saved hundreds of tonnes of embodied carbon in the foundations, masonry walls, and structural steel frame. Importantly, we extensively insulated the existing fabric to improve efficiency. We also discreetly fitted PV panels to the southern roof and incorporated Mechanical Heat Recovery systems to minimize heat loss in the building.

Follow this link to see info on our latest project at Chailey Heritage Foundation.

Back to Projects

Read Less