The ‘Great Sky Visitor Center’ is a shimmering mirrored disc floating above the flat horizon of the Great Fen atop a shallow cone of fenland planting - a dramatic profile and marker in the landscape, but also one camouflaged when seen from the air. Designed by Nicholas Hare Architects, the silvered surface, that seen from within, dematerializes its edge against a reflected sky, intends to patinate and change over time in sympathy with the landscape it reflects. More images and architects' description after the break. Their design is a spherical surface reflecting 360 degree views of the continually evolving Fen landscape. In place of selective framed views, all views would be accepted into the heart of the Center from this ever changing landscape. A shallow landscaped cone provides added drama on approach to the upper viewing level: a device that allows the circular structure to act as a compass, allowing orientation and a literal and metaphorical sinking into the landscape from any chosen point of departure.
Nicholas Hare Architects
Titled, 'The Fenland Beacon', this proposal for the Great Fen Visitor Center is rooted in the landscape; responding to the inherent qualities of the Great Fen. Designed by Nicholas Hare Architects, the expansive sweep of the timber façade that ventures out and dissolve into the landscape is punctuated by the tower dramatically rising above the Fenland horizon, anchoring the visitor centre within the wider context; an orientating beacon within the expanse of the Great Fen. More images and architects' description after the break. Visitors are invited to embark upon a journey, aiming to elevate their understanding and deepen their relationship with the Great Fen. The linear sequence of experiences through the site, pavilion and tower distil the beauty of the environment into their elements whilst silencing the others, allowing the appreciation of each individual aspect that makes up the whole. Culminating in the ascent of the tower, the visitor is rewarded with a unique 360-degree panorama of the Great Fen.