Brockholes Visitor Centre

New visitor centre for 106-hectare wetland Nature Reserve near Preston. A highly sustainable building buried into the embankment of a former gravel pit.
The visitor centre provides a café restaurant, shop, exhibition gallery, education spaces, conference facilities and a covered viewing platform.

The building is expressed as a huge slot-like cut through the gravel ridge, minimising its impact on the natural landscape and especially the skyline, while giving fine views across the Reserve to the south and the meandering River Ribble landscape to the north. The abstract form creates a strong presence visible from the nearby motorway.

Client: Lancashire Wildlife Trust, with Northwest RDA, Forestry Commission, Tubney Trust

Cost: £4 million

Status: RIBA competition 2007, runner up

Team: McDowell+Benedetti, Michael Hadi Associates, XCO2, Jackson Coles

Architect’s Journal