VISITOR CENTRE AT WALLACE MONUMENT

Client : Stirling District Tourism
Location : Stirling
Value : £600 thousand
Completion Date : August 2008

Awards : Winner of Gold Medal in the Public Building category for the Roses Design Awards 2010, Commendation in the Public Building category for the Scottish Design Awards.

Works completed on site in December 2008 for this extension to the existing visitor facility at the Wallace Monument near Stirling. The building opened to the public in late March 2009.
Extending into an area which was filled by woodland planting, the new building comprises a partially mono-pitched simple form linked to the existing building via a low level entrance area. With the building positioned at an open angle, the approach to the entrance via the undercroft of the front canopy is designed to be welcoming and flow naturally from the existing car park area. The glazed front and rear facades of the link element allow the cafe to establish its separate but complimentary role in relation to the existing facility which will continue to house retail and public WC services.
The two operational volumes are visually tied together by the same facade treatment of panel cladding with an articulating layer of timber fin cladding held in front, echoing the vertical rhythm of the surrounding dense cafe. To the rear of the cafe space, the glazing remains un-screened, allowing the visitors to enjoy the view up the hillside towards the monument visible beyond the treetops. Sliding doors at either end of this facade facilitate the opening up of the cafe seating area onto the terrace to the south.
Through sensitively crafted design, the architectural language of this modest new building will overlap and envelop the existing to give a unified appearance, and breathe fresh life into this important national site.
Credits : Photographs by Keith Hunter Photography