Wetland Centre

Project: Wetland Centre

For this competition we sought to create a prominent, landmark building which visitors would instantly recognise in this wetland environment. Its shape, form and materials give it a warm and friendly character to make the building more enjoyable and encourage repeat visits.

The new Centre closely connects with water and projects out over a newly created wetland to give visitors close lakeside views.

The design draws from the key principles of environmental sustainability and reflects the traditional materials and crafts of the area in a modern and contemporary way, using natural, sustainable building materials

Our design used materials with low embodied energy to create as green a building as possible. The all timber structure used locally sourced timber with a sub structure of timber piles. The timber frame construction, infilled with locally produced Hemcrete offers improved comfort and thermal performance.

The steep open vaulted roofs use thatch from local water reeds – a material perfectly reflected in the surrounding reed beds. It is carbon neutral product and a great insulator. The soft and organic material generates very simple, pure lines and is about the most sustainable building material one can use.

Green roofs over parts of the building would provide additional habitat for bio-diversity and help keep the building stay cool in summer and warm in winter.

Our proposals give a sense of arrival and provide a visual reference point to the wider region. When visitors first enter the building, they immediately experience the wetland environment with close views overlooking the lakes and spectacular views overlooking the wider area from a high level observation deck.

A linear plan-form was chosen to make it easier to alter or extend the building in the future.