White Eagle Lodge

Skelly & Couch worked with James Gorst Architects to design and deliver a new temple building and associated landscape for the White Eagle Lodge, a spiritual organisation founded in 1936. Located in the South Downs National Park in East Hampshire, the new building is set to become a spiritual centre for the worldwide WEL community.

The temple complex is comprised of a one-storey building covering an area of approximately 559m², and it is classified as a place of worship.

Alongside the temple’s main hall, the new building includes an additional lecture room, smaller consultation rooms, a reception area, kitchen and library. Skelly & Couch provided full M&E design from concept to construction, along with planning application documents at Stage 2.

S&C's sustainability strategy is the focus of the project, with the team adopting a ‘fabric-first’ approach. 

The new temple features Ground Source Heat Pump technology to extract low temperature energy from the ground through a series of pipes buried in the landscape. This innovative technology is utilised to produce higher temperature heat and serve underfloor heating throughout the temple. 

With the temple complex situated away from nearby noise and pollution, natural ventilation is used wherever possible, ensuring comfort and enabling the end users to have control over their environment manually. A raised floor slab naturally cools the interior with fresh air supplied by an underground labyrinth ventilation system. High-level actuators in the temple clerestory enable warm air to escape.

As the shallow building design helps to achieve excellent daylight levels, the plan maximises the use of natural daylight, therefore reducing the requirement for artificial light and roof lights which will help to prevent ‘sky glow’. The new temple reinstates the photovoltaic array that served the previous building, adding to the building’s sustainability.

This project has a targeted EPC 'A' rating. Download press coverage from right-hand column.