Brockholes Wetland and Woodland Nature Reserve Visitor Facilities
Adam Khan Architects has won the RIBA competition to design a new visitor facility for the Brockholes Wetland and Woodland Nature Reserve near Preston in Lancashire.
The vision for Brockholes was to design a suite of visitor facilities to inspire and encourage people to visit the site and engage with the natural world. The project is being developed as part of the North West Regional Development Agency's £59 million Newlands land regeneration scheme in partnership with the Forestry Commission. The facilities will include a café, shop, gallery, education, and meeting rooms.
The competition was open and judged anonymously in the first stage with five teams then selected to give a presentation to the jury panel in November 2007. Following these interviews three teams were chosen to attend a final interview in February with the Lancashire Wildlife Trust and the commercial partners. Adam Khan architects were chosen above McDowell + Benedetti Architects and AY Architects as winners of the competition.
The winning design has been named 'A Floating World' and draws on the rich tradition of wetland dwellings, a floating world of thatch, reeds and willow.
Recalling the Marsh Arabs of southern Iraq, neolithic settlements of Northern Europe, and the fabulous towering constructions of storks and herons. An island of pontoons gives unlimited flood protection, and brings the visitor straight to the very special environment of the wetlands; among the reed-beds at the water's edge.
The project is zero-carbon in both use and production, with materials of low embodied energy - thatch, willow, timber, off-site prefabrication and on-site energy generation and waste treatment.
Ian Selby, Brockholes Project Manager said: "We are all very excited about the design and can't wait for the vision to be realised on site and the public to be able to enjoy this wonderful resource."
On his win, Adam Khan commented : "This is such a dream project for us: as well as the chance to make a unique, poetic landscape, we're really excited by the potential of the project to make sustainability cross–over into the mainstream - by enticing and delighting, by demonstrating how interesting and how beautiful it could be to rise to the challenges facing us all."
The winning team will now work closely with the Lancashire Wildlife Trust, the North West Regional Development Agency and the Forestry Commission to progress the winning concept.