Art & Architecture + [Visitor Center]

Ramsey Heights, Cambridgeshire Pe26, Regno Unito: Great Fen Visitor Centre Wins Shiro Studio
01 Great Fen Visitor Centre wins Shiro studio

Our design for the new Great Fen Visitor Centre explored how Architecture can conspire with Nature to create a serene and confident juxtaposition between modernity and the rich and complex history of the fen landscape.

02 Great Fen Visitor Centre wins Shiro studio

We aimed to translate a series of appropriate and intimately relevant words into Architecture: natural • warm • community • education • inspire • functional • sustainable • traditional • contemporary • light • permeable • protective • adaptive • responsive • tactile • remote • connected • respectful • humble • memorable • rich

03 Great Fen Visitor Centre wins Shiro studio

Our proposal embodies and reflects the heritage and stratified history of this land through the unique blackness of the fenlands’ peat and its black timber-cladded vernacular barns.

04 Great Fen Visitor Centre wins Shiro studio

The building is an architectural manifestation of the different functions offered by the Centre and utilizes a visual and sculptural language that will be instinctively familiar to visitors.

05 Great Fen Visitor Centre wins Shiro studio

The multitude of different functions is reminiscent of how a small village is organized; where each separate architectural volume covers a specific role, closely knitted to its neighbour. Energy self-sufficiency is achieved by using proven technologies that blend harmoniously with the building.

06 Great Fen Visitor Centre wins Shiro studio

Black mono-crystalline Pv panels installed on selected roof surfaces will provide the main source of energy required, and geothermal energy will power air heating and cooling, and hot water - eliminating the use of fuel-based boilers.

07 Great Fen Visitor Centre wins Shiro studio

In addition to these technologies the building benefits from passive solar gain and reed bed water filtration. the wider landscape within the 27 hectare site area is a mosaic of fenland habitats (as part of the fenland restoration works).

08 Great Fen Visitor Centre wins Shiro studio

Immediately surrounding the Centre are a series of ‘microcosms’ of the wider fenland landscape of colourful plants, water and reeds.

Location: Ramsey Heights, Cambridgeshire, England Architect: Shiro studio Cost Consultants: Equals Consulting Landscape consultants: Mesh Partnership Site Area: 9,000 m² Built Area: 830 m² Year: 2013 Award: 1 First Riba competition Client: the Great Fen Partnership

6.1/10 (695)