The new Exo Centre provides a commercial and educational space that is aesthetically sympathetic to both the showground site and the Lincolnshire Agricultural Society’s heritage and core values.
The Lincolnshire Showground, home of the historical Lincolnshire Show, is much more than just a showground. For more than 60 years the business has been a pinnacle within the community, providing the perfect space and flexibility for a whole host of events. Over the years the society has gained a reputation for both organising and hosting outstanding events, including conferences, exhibitions, charity dinners, concerts, festivals, weddings, equine and livestock events, rallies and vehicle shows.
In August 2018, Evans McDowall Architects won an invited competition to transform the Exo Centre. The new Exo Centre was to provide an energy-efficient, cost-effective, robust commercial and educational space that is aesthetically sympathetic to both the showground site and the Lincolnshire Agricultural Society’s heritage and core values.
The organisation of the spaces contained within the brick-built annexe have been rationalised and simplified. The existing entrance has been opened up to provide a view into the building and a softly angled wall invites the public into the reception space and allows visitors to easily navigate their way around the building. This space is lined with plywood panelling, to provide a robust and tactile finish that brings the timber lining of the covered entrance into the building, connecting inside to outside.
The main hall has been modernised to provide a crisp, modern, light and airy interior space for events. The number of openings within the main hall have been reduced to maximise wall space, with roof lights installed on the north elevation to provide natural daylight.
The overall project is to embody sustainable materials and construction methodologies where possible to create a development that has a minimal environmental impact on its immediate and wider context. Through restoration and conversion, the project is to secure the life of the building for years to come.