The Viper Elevated Walkway at the Newt in Somerset

Structural Designer

Henry Fagan & Partners

Client Name

Mr Koos Bekker, The Newt in Somerset

Location

Castle Cary, UK

ARCHITECT
Mark Thomas Architects

PRINCIPAL CONTRACTOR
Beard

QUANTITY SURVEYORS
Bernard James & Partners

PROJECT MANAGER
Stonewood Design

STEELWORK CONTRACTOR SA
Prokon Services 

STEELWORK CONTRACTOR UK
MJ Patch & Co

TIMBER WORK CONTRACTOR
H G Holliday
 

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

An elegant and elevated woodland walkway. The design took a sensitive approach to the environment, ensuring minimal impact on the natural forest floor. To achieve this, columns are supported on tripods on steel piles and manufactured to individual bespoke dimensions. Its winding layout is designed to avoid all the trees in the forest canopy.
 

Submitted in 2020

Judge's comment:

This elevated woodland walkway glides through the trees. Good design often aims to be sympathetic with nature but this project, in fact, feels at one with nature.  

The engineers demonstrated careful thought on the radii of the curved deck and worked hard to minimise forest floor interventions. Steel piles were used rather than conventional concrete bases for the column foundations, their positions carefully chosen to avoid tree roots. Tripods above the ground were used to connect the columns onto the piles, rather than conventional pile caps, thus avoiding the use of any concrete in the forest. 

The project uses three steel posts to smartly achieve fixed bottom connection for the columns. The column section is light and unique, and its bolted connection makes it easy to be dissembled and recycled. 

The project is a charming example of how a sensitive approach and diligence during the design and construction processes can create something of enduring beauty. 

 

Contact us

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7235 4535
Email: [email protected]

Social media

      

© Copyright 2021 - The Institution of Structural Engineers, 47-58 Bastwick Street, London, EC1V 3PS, United Kingdom
Registered with the Charity Commission for England and Wales No. 233392 and in Scotland No. SC038263