A simple tapered volume distinguishes this new visitor centre as a linear marker within the expansive horizontal landscape of the Broads wetlands.
The elongated form maximises the connection to the surrounding environment, positioned between the water and the drained-landscape, and generating a collective arrival and orientation point amongst existing linear routes and buildings.
Inverting historic hall-house typologies, an island of supporting functions (the hearth of the building) defines spatially specific zones to each side. This accommodates flexibility for the various activities of the centre, allowing for simultaneous events or larger events and the ability to operate with a minimal staff presence.
REEDS Taking advantage to the abundant local material and historic crafts, the roof is formed from a large, highly insulated thatch. Its shape leading the eye both up to big skies and open views and to focus back down to the ground and water.
LATTICE STRUCTURE Small, easily worked and transported elements combine together to form a structural lattice, seeming to support the roof ethereally as if woven from reeds or the sails of a windmill.
PLINTH The floor, cores and furniture are cast in rammed black concrete, as if ‘carved’ from the peat, alluding to the history of the broads. External facing blocks are stacked like traditional sods for drying, allowing a tempered airflow through them. The plinth floor is set just above projected flood levels and is highly durable/water resistant.
1. Entrance 2. WC’s, storage & informal office 3. Kitchen & storage 4. Exhibition area 5. Education 6. Café 7. Terrace 8. Event space
9. Forecourt 10. Rental / Laundry 11. Bikes / Kayaks / Waste 12. 24h WC’s / Showers