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Giant's Causeway Visitor Centre, County Antrim, United Kingdom

Wednesday 08 Aug 2012

Small practice, giant project

All images: Marie-Louise Halpenny 
Your comments on this project

No. of Comments: 3

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30/03/13 Bushmills, .
Horrible polished black basalt monolith, the reality is little like these arty shots. Looks like a quarry on approach. Universally hated by locals. Excludes the local community from a much-loved local site by physically baracading access and charging 8.50 EACH if you want to use the car park even if your primary desire is to shield your eyes and rush past this monstrosity. This 8.50 seems to be to enter the cast concrete cafe and giftshop before you spend further money there. An utterly soul-destroying vandalism in a rural location where every other stone building is of hand-worked bassalt block. The National Trust are idiots.
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05/09/12 Lisa, Auckland
Having been to the giants causeway a long time ago I am very glad this cannot be seen from the causeway and vice versa. Just one person's opinion and no, I am not an architect.
It is imposing and I am surprised that the comments indicate that its design is sensitive. I do understand that its materials and design to an extent imitate life and are cleverly conceived but "Delicately folding"? Perhaps it looks better in situ. I am very glad that it has such a good environmental rating though.
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14/08/12 Kim, Melbourne Australia
Given this is about a visiting natural environment site, a site plan and or photos to establish context with the specific event!? Why can we not see the Giants Causeway itself as part of the 'built environment'


World Architecture Day speaker Roisin Heneghan's practice Heneghan Peng completes Giant's Causeway Visitor Centre 

WAN is delighted to announce that Roísín Heneghan of architects Heneghan Peng will be speaking at the inaugural World Architecture Day event on 01 October 2012. Heneghan Peng is a budding young firm based in Dublin, Ireland which has risen through the ranks after winning the world’s largest architecture competition: The Grand Egyptian Museum in Cairo. The firm’s concept was selected from 1557 designs submitted by firms in 82 countries to a competition hosted by the UIA.

A statement from the Grand Egyptian Museum Jury read: “The jury highly appreciated the simple elegance and the refined expressive qualities of the project, together with its functional clarity. The poetic statement of the project is extremely strong while retaining a delicate and discreet approach to the site and to the architectural programme.”

Another major project win for Heneghan Peng was a Visitor Centre at Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland’s only UNESCO World Heritage Site, a collection of around 40,000 basalt columns created during an ancient volcanic eruption. The 1,800 sq m facility opened in July this year to much acclaim with a sensitive design which delicately folds man-made elements into the raw terrain. One of the defining characteristics of the building is the materials from which it has been created, with the stacked basalt columns quarried from the same lava flows that formed the nearby Causeway.

Primarily a resource centre for visitors to this natural tourist attraction, plans are for the Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre to inject additional economic benefits into the local community. A ‘Park and Ride’ system ensures smooth and sustainable transit for the high visitor numbers and the entire complex has been given at BREEAM Excellent Rating. Measures to achieve this included 4.5km of pipework under the car park to take advantage of geothermal energy for heating and 1km of earth pipes next to the Visitor Centre for cooling. The concrete utilised in the construction of the building has a high recycled content and grey water recovery and green roofing are also in place.

Find out more about World Architecture Day here and view a list of speakers here.

Key Facts

Status Completed
Value 0(m€)
Were you involved in this scheme?
heneghan peng architects

More projects by this architect

Heneghan Peng Architects

Central Park Footbridge, Olympic Site

Grand Museum of Egypt


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