The Great Fen Visitor Centre

The Great Fen Masterplan, addresses the future development of the East Anglia marshlands, over a 50-year time span. The visitor centre mediates the relationship between land claimed by man and the natural processes of habitat creation. The scheme draws from the site, its context and the traces of its history in order to deliver a unique destination; a synthesis of a visitor centre and its associated landscape where one is integral to the other in generating a place for people and wildlife to evolve simultaneously.

The architecture is conceived as a sheltered and more dense segment of the journey through the amazing landscape. Forming part of the wider landscape narrative, the building resembles an animal in its natural habitat, its lurking presence emerges from the silver birch woodland to merge into the reed beds. A series of volumes which accommodate the main functions of the centre are strategically positioned in shifting directions to allow for commanding 360° views of the surrounding landscape. An envelope loosely wraps around these volumes, providing a hybrid indoor/outdoor space, sheltered from the elements.

Peterborough, UK
RIBA Competition, 2013
Divercity Architects & Natalia Roussou