Langley Vale Visitor Centre

RIBA Ideas Competition | The Woodland Trust
January 2016

The visitor’s hub fits seamlessly into the natural landscape while telling a story about the rich history of the Langley Vale site and meeting the practical needs of the visitors and staff. The organic shapes and lack of straight lines mimic natural forms. The hub has a timber frame and cladding, locally sourced from sustainably managed Sweet Chestnut coppices.

The main space is elliptical in shape, with four rounded hive-like structures protruding from the central area to house the WCs, office, kitchen and store. The hive-like structures are inspired by the ancient history of the region, with the shapes being reminiscent of Iron Age kilns.

The east side of the hub features floor-to-ceiling glazing with amazing panoramic views of the landscape and all the key attractions of the site. The roof overhangs to allow people to shelter from the elements even when the hub is closed and there is plenty of space on the steps for visitors to relax, eat, socialise and contemplate the view.

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