Great Fen Visitor Center

21/02/2013 - 18/08/2013


This shortlisted entry for the RIBA Great Fen Visitor’s Centre open international design competition was praised by the judging panel for its innovative form and connection with the surrounding landscape.

The design for a new multi functional building housing a café, exhibition spaces, conference facilities and learning areas drew inspiration from the wing shape of the common crane – native to the area – for its distinctive roof form. Foster Lomas collaborated closely with structural engineers Webb Yates, environmental consultants Xco2 and landscape architects Macfarlane Wilder to create a building with minimal environmental impact using a combination of traditional materials and modern production techniques.

The proposed building would provide the focal point for a 50 year project to create a huge wetland area in the heart of East Anglia, restoring 3,700 hectares of arable farmland back to its natural state. Visitors would be encouraged to explore this unique ecology with the visitors centre acting as a catalyst for developing the Fens as a new tourist destination.


In collaboration with:

XCO2 – Energy consultants
Webb Yates – Structural Engineers
John Hesp – Craftsman, Boat Builder & Model Maker
Macfarlane Wilder – Landscape Design
7T – Visualisations

Architecture and Landscape

Status: competition

Client: commercial


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