Westonbirt Welcome Building

Structural Designer

BuroHappold Engineering

Client Name

Forestry Commission

Location

Gloucestershire, United Kingdom

ARCHITECT
Glenn Howells Architects
BUILDING SERVICES ENGINEERS
E3 Consulting Engineers
QS/COST CONSULTANT
PMP Consultants
MAIN CONTRACTOR
SpellerMetcalfe

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

Westonbirt is home to the National Arboretum in Tetbury, Gloucestershire. The new Welcome Building is located in a natural dip and placed on a semi-circular grid to integrate it into the landscape, providing a point of entry to the Arboretum, and a number of essential visitor facilities. The building frame is constructed from environmentally-friendly, UK-sourced, Green Douglas Fir timber. Its gently curving structure gives the traditional pitched roof form a modern twist, while the Western Red Cedar used for the external cladding lends the building an attractive appearance and continues the theme of timber construction.

Judge's comment:

This beautifully designed building welcomes visitors to the National Arboretum at Tetbury.  Appropriately, the building is made almost entirely of wood, with timber frames of UK-grown Douglas Fir.  There are no eaves ties, giving an elegant clear height space up to the ridge.  The sarking boarding acts as a diaphragm to transfer lateral loads to the end walls and to intermediate frames. The judges thought this was an excellent example of the integration of structure and architecture.