Holystone Visitors Centre

The Holystone Visitors Centre in a university undergraduate project based in a remote environment in Northumberland, more specifically in Holystone located in the Cheviot Hills situated on the England/Scotland border. The brief was vague enough to choose an interesting area of the site and was creative enough to adapt the use of the building slightly depending on the theme of the Project.

The initial brief indicated to design a Visitors Centre along with Youth Hostel accommodation and an exhibition space. However, after deep analysis, the development of the brief changed the building to house a story telling exhibition and private log cabins along with the Youth Hostel and Visitors Centre.

The local and historical context resulted in a decision to suggest a timber building, preferably engineered Glu-Lam obtained from locally sourced timber from the wood management system in place at Holystone, and a traditional steeply pitched roof to reflect the vernacular form. The form benefits the weather conditions of the area while it would also act as a reflection of the shape of pine trees that portrayed a visually strong backdrop for the building. The plan layout evolved over time to reflect the immediate context including hard landscape features such as tree line boundaries, roads, public footpaths and steep inclines and secondly derived from the vernacular layout of farm yards into a contemporary courtyard.

The project was aimed to facilitate for hiking and outdoor enthusiasts who would visit Holystone and learn all about local history, myths and folklore before spending time in the vast surrounding landscape looking for specific sites indicated in the story telling exhibition.


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