Make's competition-winning scheme for the Sherwood Forest Visitor Complex
Standing as a new gateway to the forest, the project will transform the site into an exciting destination that embraces leisure, heritage, education, nature conservation and sustainability, while promoting the county of Nottinghamshire and the local community.
The proposals have been inspired by a desire to capture the unique qualitites of a tree-house. The scheme consists of a dramatic trunk that emerges from a podium structure resembling a network of radiating roots at the base and rises 20 metres before branching out into a canopy at the apex. Core visitor facilities are housed at ground level, while the trunk contains a staircase that leads up to a spectacular restaurant and viewing platform set within the building's canopy and overlooking the ancient forest. At the boundaries of the site, new habitats such as meadow, grass, heath and coppice are created to serve as an educational resource and blend the development into its surroundings. The structure has been designed to use timber in its naturally occurring state and an array of wind turbines located within a nearby coppice grove will generate electricity for the complex, while the coppice itself contributes fuel for a biomass heating system. Other sustainable measures include rain water collection and reed bed waste recycling systems.