Mediating Walls

Great Fen Visitor Centre – Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom


Competition 2013


In collaboration with Sander Lap (LAP Landscape and Urban design), Marchel-Wim van Dongen and Philip Vencken


Engineering / costs: Wim Geelhoed


For: RIBA





Visitors will experience the Great Fens through a building that interacts with this mysterious landscape. Instead of separating you from the natural surroundings, the perimeter walls connect you with the landscape actively via various educational perforations. As such the walls act as mediator.
The Vistor Centre is all about getting an overview of this unique area in England and zooming in on details otherwise not easily found. Spatially the building is organized on the basis of comfort zones. First the basic needs are fulfilled before the visitor can experience the building and the information fully. This is achieved by means of a route spiralling inwards as continuation of the exterior. Magnificent views give the visitor an impression of the four dominating landscapes, which are extended towards the building. Like this the Visitor Centre will become a memorable starting point for further exploration of the Great Fens.