A set of zero-carbon floating buildings has been chosen by RIBA as the winning design for the visitor center at the new Brockholes Wetland and Woodland Nature Reserve in Preston, northern England. Nicknamed ‘A Floating World’ and chosen over five other shortlisted entries, this design from Adam Khan Architects uses buildings made of low embodied energy materials such as thatch, willow and timber, drawing on the heritage of wetland dwellings and embodying a sustainable agenda.
Off-site prefabrication and on-site energy generation and waste treatment further reduce the project’s impact. Built on an island of floating pontoons over a former 67-acre gravel pit, visitors are reassured with the guarantee of ‘unlimited flood protection’. The connection they experience with nature is greater through close proximity of the café, shop, gallery, education areas, and meeting rooms to the reeds and wildlife of the surrounding wetland environment.
The design is part of the £59 million Newlands Scheme, which intends to turn over 900 hectares of brownfield land into community woodland and green space, and grabbing national and international attention along the way. As well as supporting recreation and wildlife, the center plays a key role in enhancing the local area both socially and economically.
Via Jamble Magazine