Mottisfont Welcome Centre

Commercial & Leisure Award Highly Commended 2016

Location: Mottisfont, Hampshire
Architect: Burd Haward Architects Ltd
Client/Owner: The National Trust
Timber Frame Consultant: Constructional Timber
Structural Engineer: Thomas Consulting Ltd
Main Contractor/Builder: Beard Swindon
Timber Frame Contractor: Sylva Group Ltd
Wood Supplier: Vincent Timber
Timber Decking Supplier: Hoppings Softwood Products PLC
Timber Flooring Supplier: Orlestone Oak
Wood Species: European Spruce, European Larch, Canadian Western Red Cedar, Thermally Modified Scandinavian Redwood, European Oak, Plywood & OSB Sheathing

The Welcome Centre provides new visitor facilities at the entrance to the historic estate of Mottisfont Abbey. The buildings, located between the existing car park and a tributary of the River Test, include a visitor arrival and ticketing space, a shop, an office and a staff room. Due to being positioned in the flood plain, the buildings are raised off the ground and arranged around a raised courtyard that connects to a new walkway, bridge and to landscaped paths beyond. With bold, clear, reductive detailing, the buildings are contemporary interpretations of simple agricultural forms. The project was designed to be highly sustainable with minimal impact to the sensitive SSSI surroundings. The spruce and larch frame and floor cassettes were prefabricated. The distinctive dia-grid framework and carefully detailed joints are clearly visible throughout. The shop is clad in weathering steel, the WC building in Western red cedar boards and the reception is highly glazed with deep cedar fins to add texture and minimise solar gain. All the cedar has been left untreated. It will weather to pale silver to match the roof.