Adam Khan wins wetlands visitor attraction contest

Adam Khan Architects has won the RIBA competition to design a new visitor facility for the Brockholes Wetland and Woodland Nature Reserve near Preston in Lancashire.

The vision for Brockholes was "to design a suite of visitor facilities to inspire and encourage people to visit the site and engage with the natural world".

Brockholes Wetland and Woodland Nature ReserveThe project is being developed as part of the North West Development Agency's £59m Newlands land regeneration scheme in partnership with the Forestry Commission. The facilities will include a café, shop, gallery, education, and meeting rooms.

Adam Khan architects were chosen above McDowell + Benedetti Architects and AY Architects as winners of the competition.

The winning design has been named 'A Floating World' and draws on wetland dwellings, a floating world of thatch, reeds and willow. An island of pontoons gives unlimited flood protection, and brings the visitor straight to the very special environment of the wetlands; among the reed-beds at the water's edge.

The project is zero-carbon in both use and production, with materials of low embodied energy – thatch, willow, timber, off-site prefabrication and on-site energy generation and waste treatment.

Adam Khan commented : "This is such a dream project for us: as well as the chance to make a unique, poetic landscape, we're really excited by the potential of the project to make sustainability cross-over into the mainstream – by enticing and delighting, by demonstrating how interesting and how beautiful it could be to rise to the challenges facing us all."

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