New council chamber and conference centre opens for business
Archived press release
Date Published: 01/04/10
A dedicated council chamber and conference centre for Aylesbury Vale District Council is now open for business.
The new building, located at the junction of Gatehouse Road and Bicester Road in Aylesbury, will be used as a central meeting point for AVDC and will be open to the community for meetings and events.
The conference suite will be known as The Oculus, which is Latin for eye. The name was chosen because of the distinct design of the main meeting room, which showcases a ‘floating feature roof’ with a huge glass lens placed on top to reflect natural light back into the building.
Construction company Morgan Ashurst won the contract to build the landmark building. It is oval in shape, which presented a number of challenges, in structural engineering, in construction, and in managing acoustics.
The building is clad in zinc and timber and has a capacity for 140 people seated and can accommodate 440 standing. It has been fitted out with a public address system, a suspended audio rig which accommodates all the projectors, speakers and lighting, and a hearing loop system for people with hearing difficulties.
The conference suite will be leased out for private meetings and functions and the council has already received a number of enquiries regarding bookings for the new facility.
The development is part of the regeneration of the 2.5 hectare Gatehouse Road site. Land will be made available for new council offices, employment and housing.
Councillor John Cartwright, Leader of the Council, said: “This is an exciting development for the Aylesbury area and we are very pleased to have been able to create such high quality meeting and conference facilities. We will use the conference suite for a full range of council activities from full council meetings to planning inquiries, which we currently have to hold somewhere else because we don’t have a room big enough at The Gateway. The suite will also be available for other organisations to use so we should also be able to generate some income while reducing our own costs of hiring.”
Neil Dunbar, Morgan Ashurst project manager, said: “We are extremely proud to hand over this flagship building to Aylesbury Vale District Council, on time and on budget. We have spread the benefits of construction by using local suppliers and subcontractors wherever possible. For example, we awarded a £280,000 contract to WWR Roofing, based in Aylesbury.”
For further information about hiring the new conference suite, please call 01296 585041.