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Culloden Battlefield Visitor Centre

contributed by 323 World Architecture Festival , 22 May 2009

 

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Description Culloden Battlefield Visitor Centre:

Purpose of project
The new building is three times the size of the existing facilities it replaces and is designed for up to 250,000 visitors a year, housing interpretation of the battle along with edu¬cational and conference facilities, a 240 cover café and restaurant, a shop and staff/ancillary accommodation.

Design approach
The new centre and landscape routes were designed to be fully accessible in line with the National Trust for Scotland’s access policy.

The building is located within a conservation area containing a number of scheduled ancient monuments. The site is extremely sensitive and of national and international significance; therefore planning consultations involved Historic Scotland, Scottish National Heritage, Royal Fine Arts Commission as well as The Highland Council which set strict parameters for heights, views, and materials.

Whilst the existing visitor centre was built on archaeologically sensitive ground the new centre is moved away from the bat¬tlefield lines, ensuring that the new building’s location would not disturb graves or artefacts. The new building is anchored between an existing field wall and a new gently rising berm which is aligned to the rearmost government lines, screening visitor traffic from the battlefield and delivering visitors onto a planted roof terrace for a unique view of the site. The building and berm act as a portal to the site, allowing the visitor the choice of a stay under the scalloped roofs of the restaurant before or after an interpretive journey through the exhibition with views out to the landscape at key points culminating on the roof terrace. When the centre is closed the site can be accessed via the portal formed by the bridge to the roof, passing the memorial wall which offers a visual interpretation of the historic site and its status of a war grave and burial ground for over 1200 soldiers.

The challenge of the Interpretation Area was to design a naturally ventilated building that could respond to extremely high visitor loads during summer high season. A passive ventilation system was developed, combining opening windows and low-level vents, with high-level ventilation via parapets and roof cowls. The system is generally wind-driven, orientated towards the battlefield and prevailing winds. Low speed plate fans, concealed within the roof cowls, provide increased airflow for extreme conditions e.g. high visitor numbers on a still summer day.

The building is constructed as a lightweight, high response timber/steel envelope on a massive insulated stone/concrete floor incorporating under floor heating. Thermal mass evens out temperature swings for the 12+ hour daily useage and the thermally responsive shell adjusts quickly to occupation. The construction included above Regulation levels of thermal insulation. The intensive green roof over the interpretation area also contributes some thermal insulation and mass to the fabric of this element.

Photograph by: Nigel Rigden

More info: http://www.worldbuildingsdirectory.com/

 

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Information Culloden Battlefield Visitor Centre:

Project function:
Description tags:
WAF,
Address: 
Inverness, United Kingdom




License: 
None (All rights reserved)


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