Langley Vale Visitor Hub, Surrey

The Visitor Hub design is connected to landscape and history by four key elements - hedge, nest, trench and tower. The proposal is conceived as a gap in a hedge, inviting visitors to woodland and meadow beyond. A new ‘hedge’ wraps both sides of the building and extends into the landscape. The ‘hedge’ is a haven supporting wildlife, woodland and community. It frames the new Hub, concealing, revealing and integrating it into the landscape. The hall is a ‘nest’ in the ‘hedge’. It is warm bright and inviting, wrapped inside with warm colours, looking out to the landscape. The visitor is directed to the entrance by a ‘trench wall’ of stacked logs and sandbags, referencing walls made in WWI trenches. The site was once a WWI training ground. On the other side of the Hub the ‘trench pond’ provides wetland habitat. The ‘tower’ provides an opportunity for the visitor to look out over the woodland and orient themselves. It alludes to the military past, woodland hides and ranger stations.

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