RIBA architecture and design competition for a new build visitor centre for the Woodland Trust in the Epsom Downs, Surrey.
The building draws inspiration from the great
medieval barns and typical agricultural buildings located in the area. A
perfectly square plan rests on an elevated podium overlooking the wood. An
oversized pitched roof provides shelter from the elements whilst the
centralised roof light helps illuminate the main space.
Externally, the building is clad entirely in charred larch to give the building
a uniform appearance. Internally, stained concrete
floors and timber linings are proposed throughout. The large sliding doors
secure the building during hours of closure. When open the doors are very much
part of the elevational treatment. Exposed cross bracing on the sliding
screens mimic the typical barn door.
The everyday material palette and simplistic detailing ensures the building can
be constructed from locally sourced materials with the use of local labour. The
honesty and tactile quality of the chosen materials ensures the building has
meaningful connection with the landscape and local architectural