Shortlisted International Competition entry.
The competition brief was for a Visitor’s Educational Centre, Gallery and Resident Artist’s Accommodation and Studio to be located in a flood plain landscape that was both an ecologically sensitive nature trail and an outdoor space for the display of sculpture.
A strategic decision was made to establish the building on brownfield land – formerly a car park adjacent to the nearby road. This would offer a vantage point to view the landscape and the sculptures and to be a backdrop for all the other activities of the Centre. The building itself rests lightly above the site offering the most minimal impact, allowing nature to surround it completely and for periodic flooding. In this natural state there are refuges for sculptures to rest safely above the water creating unique and unrivalled viewing opportunities.
The external landscaping refers back to the flood epic of Noah and the dimension of the Ark as if lodged in this setting once the waters had receded. Paths and a bridge link both sides of the river and a secondary car park enables visitors with mobility issues to access the whole site.