Hardwick Park visitor centre

Competition entry for new Visitor Centre, for which we proposed a location on the sloping woodland site between the visitor car park and river. The functions are separated into four linked pavilions (entrance/shop, exhibition, education, and cafe with riverside terrace) set closely amongst the mature trees.

For economy and to establish a closer relationship to the natural surroundings, circulation is all outdoor, sheltered by overhanging roofs. The innovative lightweight structure minimises impact on the landscape, allowing existing trees to grow through and close to the building.

Client: Durham County Council

Cost: £0.8 million

Status: Competition 2002 Shortlisted finalist

Team: Matter as McDowell+Benedetti, Arup, BDSP, Jackson Coles