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:

Clean visually and clean logically, the judges especially admired the structural efficiency and spatial flexibility of this building, which spring from a recognition of the benefit of using the inherent 3-D stiffness of the curved, diaphragm roof form to do the structural work, thus allowing a graceful and unencumbered roof space to be created. The rigorous, thoughtful attention to detail throughout comes as an additional bonus.