Projects / Abernethy Adventure Centre
The Abernethy Trust welcomes a wide range of visitors spanning the generations, from children on school trips to family groups. The Trust required new guest accommodation to supplement their current Manor House accommodation, all set within a beautiful forest clearing near Aviemore. The brief set out a requirement for a robust and practical building, sensitive to the site surroundings, with a fun, inviting, yet unobtrusive presence.
Innovations & added value
The proposal responds to the strongest geometries of the site: the existing Manor House front elevation and the face of the nearby Stable Block, used for staff accommodation. The building is conceived as two timber-clad volumes separated by a frequently travelled existing footpath between the stable block and the main house; the two halves of the building are then reconnected by an enclosed bridge at the upper storey. The requirement for a biomass boiler gave an opportunity to further articulate the design with a chimney tower extending to tree height; the chimney tower is also used as a climbing wall. In contrast to the timber cladding, a series of mirror clad surfaces break down the apparent mass of the building and allow its walls to take on the colours and textures of the surrounding woodland; the mirrored walls also generate possibilities for play for younger visitors. Hinged panels open to extend the common areas to the outdoors in the summer, but can be closed for warmth in the winter; these movable elements further enhance interactivity and excitement.