Nestled on the lake shore, the new visitor centre will bring nature within reach of an urban audience. Offering panoramic views of the lake and close ups of the wildlife, visitors will be able to engage with the natural environment.
Families can enjoy a fun day out with lake walks, birdwatching, letting the kids run free in the outdoor playground or simply relaxing in the cafe. The exhibition area will overlook the lake and allow visitors to discover, learn and engage whilst taking in the beauty of the environment.
The tranquil centre will appear camouflaged between the two lakes behind a facade of reclaimed log posts and a green roof. The logs and vegetation provide fantastic habitat birds bringing them within touching distance of the glass. A sustainable approach to design, providing significant new habitat in close proximity, demonstrates how people can interact with nature to protect wildlife and enjoy the benefits. The skylights and glass walls and floor widows bathe the interior with natural light and allow views to feeding woodpeckers on the logs, nesting birds on the roof and wetland life though the floor. This exposure to the wildlife, flora and fauna hopes to engage its youngest visitors and encourage them to protect the future of our environment.
The building is organised efficiently over two levels with the staff and support areas grouped in one location separating public and private functions as much as possible. These offices, workshops and training rooms are located on the “noisy” side of the building closest to the road access. The public route passes over the top of a new fence which separates noisy functions like the children’s playground and car park from the quiet of the natural world. This both offers an opportunity for security to the reserve and encourages wildlife to move closer to the centre improving connections between nature and people.
The proposed structure is CLT (cross laminated timber) which will be exposed internally, revealing how the building is supported. The façade is shaded and camouflaged with reclaimed log posts sourced from local forests. The roof is extensively planted to create an abundant habitat for nesting birds. The extensive use of locally sourced timber in the build could offer a carbon neutral finished building. The proposal will improve the biodiversity of the reserve through its new offerings of habitat whilst minimising intrusion. Part of the proposal is that the water could be extended to pass beneath the centre providing a unique habitat for wildlife for birds amongst the logs.
Rural workshop and office, Brecon Beacons, Wales
Perched on a hillside in the heart of the Welsh hills this work-from-home office is designed to make the most of its beautiful surroundings while blending with vernacular of neighbouring agricultural buildings. This approach to design involved the use of practical materials such as corrugated metal, steel frames and timber cladding but with great attention paid to their detail and junctions and careful consideration of colour and finish. The project is on site with the steel frame being installed in the summer and we are very much looking forward to photographing this project in the coming Spring.
An Artist's Workshop, Burton
This is a space to create. It is an intentionally simple structure defined by three key principles:
Extensive control of natural light.
A robust and non-precious fabric.
A simple timber portal frame and roof deck form the structure of the pavilion. A robust polished concrete floor throughout plays with reflections whilst providing a solid, easy to clean, surface on which to work. Plywood and polycarbonate panels and built in shelving units form the façade.
These panels can be removed to and configured to provide a flexible lighting environment from full black out through to diffuse lighting and direct lighting.
Use of heavy duty, inexpensive materials allows the building to withstand the wear and tear of constant use and encourages artists to use the building fabric as part of their canvas.
The presence or absence of a panel defines space as indoor or outdoor allowing an artist to work how they please. It controls views in and out and either encourages interaction or protects against it. Each beam and column is fitted with connection points allowing the installation of internal partitions for an adaptive layout.
Beach Pavilion, Toronto
The Winter Bulb beach pavilion is based upon the resilience of plant bulbs during the freezing temperatures of winter. Designed by nature to withstand the cold, these temperatures are also fundamental in the lifecycle of a plant in anticipation of flowering in the coming spring. This resilience is much like the Torontonians who are undeterred by the bitter winter conditions and persist in enjoying their beaches whatever the weather.
The Winter Bulb encompasses the lifeguard stand, creating a seated sanctuary for its visitors from the wind. A chalkboard provides a focal point upon which visitor can leave their mark much like the cave paintings seen in the earliest of mankind’s shelters.
The structure consists of a marine plywood rib frame over which rope is tightly wrapped to form a protective envelope also casting playful shadows in the winter sun.