The design for the development of a new visitor centre provides an elegant and organic backdrop to the surrounding landscape. The fragmented building form reduces the apparent mass of the overall development, in order that it is perceived to be a series of buildings of a smaller scale. In keeping with its rural environment, the proposed height and variation in the building form echoes the rhythmic structure of traditional glasshouses.
The over sailing roof form provides shelter, whilst large areas of glazing and north roof lights maintain the feel of an informal courtyard. Integral to the environmental strategies of the development, the roof form maximises the penetration of natural light, controls solar gain where required, and provides height to drive natural stack ventilation.
Passive environmental strategies such as ventilation, natural lighting and cooling, and limited water consumption have all been considered during the design process. Active technologies including photovoltaic panels and solar thermal collectors will help to reduce the environmental impact of the building. In addition to the timber roof structure, natural material will be used to compliment the rustic brick and glazed building elements.