The principle design approach was to create a building on two levels with both areas accessible to all abilities. A lower enclosed level would provide a sheltered viewing space, interpretation space and space for group talks while an open upper level would provide unhindered 360 degree views over the reserve.
The building itself was designed with a circular form ‘sliced’ through with a fully glazed floor to ceiling ‘viewing wall’ projecting out over a steep banking running down to the marshes below. This form was designed to create both a sense of shelter and at the same time drama for visitors.
The upper/lower, open/enclosed arrangement provides distinctly different experiences within the single structure, helping visitors to fully experience all the natural wonders that this special location provides.
This approach was made possible by utilising the topography of the site to allow full wheelchair access to both levels of the building.
Located as it is in both a National Nature Reserve and National Park, the design took great care to minimise disturbance to the landscape.