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Woodland Visitor Centre

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This design for a visitor centre in Langley Vale, Surrey is intended to appear both archetypal and contemporary in its beautiful woodland setting. It sits at the corner of three field boundaries and takes its geometry from this position. The plan is a lozenge, a rectangle that has been sliced at a sharp diagonal angle to allow the visitor centre to orientate its entrance to the path and take advantage of the fabulous views towards the Epsom Downs.


A projecting roof provides a generous covered external meeting place with access to toilets and baby changing facilities when the building is closed. The roof is supported by ten tree-trunk columns carved with the names of soldiers from the area that served in the First World War, the honouring of whom was a requirement of the brief.


The plan is organised simply to allow the building to be minimally staffed, be safe and secure and provide meeting, exhibition and office facilities when required. The building plays with naturalistic forms and symbolic references to the landscape whilst retaining a level of abstraction that allows for different readings and associations to be made.


The project was designed by Ordinary Architecture.

Charles Holland Architects

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