The Sill National Landscape Discovery Centre

  • © Sally Ann Norman
  • © Sally Ann Norman
  • © Sally Ann Norman
  • © Sally Ann Norman
  • © Sally Ann Norman
  • © Sally Ann Norman
  • © Sally Ann Norman
  • © Sally Ann Norman
  • © Sally Ann Norman
  • © Sally Ann Norman
  • © Sally Ann Norman
  • © Kristen McCluskie
  • © Sally Ann Norman
  • © Sally Ann Norman
  • © Kristen McCluskie
  • © Sally Ann Norman
  • © Sally Ann Norman
  • © Sally Ann Norman
  • © Sally Ann Norman
  • © Sally Ann Norman

Special Award

Selwyn Goldsmith Award for Universal Design

Application Type

Universal Design

Level of Award

Award

Region

North East

Local Authority Area

Northumberland

Information about this scheme

The Sill is a National Landscape Discovery Centre and YHA at Once Brewed within the Northumberland National Park. The facility features an exhibition space, learning and event spaces, a local produce café, rural business hub, a world-class 86 bed Youth Hostel and a shop specialising in local crafts and produce. The Sill’s fully accessible living roof sweeps gently upwards, giving visitors a bird’s eye vantage point across one of the UK’s most magnificent landscapes and the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Hadrian’s Wall.The building and immediate landscape is accessible for all. The approach to the site and building for visitors provides easier and safer access routes for pedestrians, with increased separation between pedestrian and vehicle routes. The external design provides ease of access from parking and drop-off facilities with easy access routes linking the majority of external facilities, including enhanced facilities for disabled persons to park Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles or to charge Electric / Hybrid cars. The apparent growth of the building from within the landscape with level or easy access connecting routes between outside and inside spaces, supported by accessible spaces and internal circulation, combine to create a development which supports inclusive access for visitors and staff; into, around and out of the building. The roof design has been designed to provide level resting points, while the gradients of all sloped paths are set at 1:21. The building layout therefore encourages the accessible passage of visitors across its roof space to enjoy the whin sill vegetation roof and take advantage of the elevated views across the landscape. Full access allows all visitors to explore the exhibition spaces, retail areas, café and corridors; and for those who wish to stay longer, the YHA facilities provide comfort and security for all would be guests with fully accessible communal areas and 2 fully wheelchair accessible ensuite bathrooms. 2 lifts are included, one located in the discovery centre linking to the first-floor café and another linking the bedroom floors of the YHA. Public sanitary facilities include the provision of 5 accessible public toilets including a Changing Places Toilet Facility with floor area of 12m2. Gateshead Access Panel were access consultants on the project and have also been involved in the consultation process attending Building & Site Design and Interpretation Theme Team meetings, which were also attended by a number of key stakeholders. Community Consultation events held in May, June and October 2013 were open to the wider community and the ideas of a fully accessible green roof were discussed in detail and incorporated into the scheme.

Credits

Architect

Jane Darbyshire & David Kendall Ltd

Client

Northumberland National Park Authority

Other

Youth Hostel Association (Project Tenant)

Project Manager

Gardiner & Theobald

Landscape Architect

Glen Kemp Ltd

Planning Consultant

Cundall

Structural Engineer

Patrick Parsons

M&E Engineers

Cad21 Ltd

Other

Bright 3D (Interpretative Design Consultant)

Access Consultant

Gateshead Access Panel

Main Contractor

Sir Robert McAlpine

Primary Use Class

Class D1f - Public Library/Archive/Visitor Centre