The Donmouth Nature Reserve is an under appreciated piece of Aberdeen culture. As a bid to encourage people to visit the site and learn about it’s nature it has been proposed to build a new visitors centre. The new visitor centre will be a gateway to the Donmouth Nature Reserve and the North Sea, acting as a link between city and nature. The building will provide a place to connect to nature, learn about nature and inspire it’s visitors to be involved in protecting nature.
It is proposed that the centre will be home to exhibits and outdoor learning activities for people of all ages, each will aim to connect people to nature in a way which is positive for both people and wildlife. The building will become a hub for not only engaging the public but also raising awareness about the importance of conservation work and saving the planet.
In addition to the facilities on offer to the building, the building will also provide a hub for professionals to continue to research and develop their knowledge of the bio-diverse surrounding.
Key aims of the visitor centre include: To be a place of enriched biodiversity. To provide a better awareness of biodiversity. To provide the public with a greater understanding of wildlife. To enhance peoples own sense of well-being through nature. Convey messaging about sustainability and saving the planet.
The visitor centre will, wherever possible, connect it’s user to the surrounding nature and should be; Beautiful; not only should the building look aesthetically pleasing but it should be sympathetic and complementary to it’s surroundings. Make as much use of natural light as possible, connecting outdoors to indoors. Have a clear relationship with the reserve and north sea; allowing visitors to experience them firsthand. Be sensible and practicable (E.g Power sources, foul water filtration, insulation, heating, lighting etc.)
The Donmouth Visitor Centre is a building designed for people to connect, learn and inspire. The buildings main purpose is to connect people and wildlife; providing a place in which nature supports human well-being and people support the well-being of nature. My aim for the Visitor Centre is to act as a gateway to the Donmouth Nature Reserve and the North Sea, and also to act as a strong link of connection between the urban and landscaped levels of the masterplan.
Located at the tip of the masterplan, I believe this to be the best position as it provides the closest link to the Nature Reserve and the North Sea. I believe that the buildings location not only enables it to act as a gateway and connection but also takes great advantage of the views. The nature reserve maximises it’s views with large glazed walls. These large quantities of glass not only allow lots of natural light into the building, but greatly help to lessen the barrier between inside and outside. By reducing this barrier, I am to provide a stronger connection between humans and nature.
The building features a large circular roof which is surrounded by louvres, from a distance these louvres work together to provide the visual of a circular building. However, the actual envelope of the building is set back from the roofs edge is is actually linear in style. By stepping the envelope back, large overhands have been created. These will be highly beneficial for the buildings passive solar design. The envelope steps in and out, varying the overhang sizes, this creates external courtyards of various sizes.
Trust the Edge - A proposal for the relocation of Transition Extreme.
When the stories, formed by experiences in challenging urban activity, help us to thrive, grow and create the ever- changing City of Aberdeen.
Transition Extreme is a multi award winning youth charity engaging with young people via participation in extreme sports and related art and music activities, open to everyone. With reduced economic/industrial reliance on Oil, Aberdeen faces challenges associated with areas of social deprivation and the need to grow a confident, resilient, skilled population adapting to new industry, a new future.
Relocation to Aberdeen’s “Living Edge” on Aberdeen’s waterfront enables the project to become better integrated with other leisure/ sport facilities and with the areas of population density that it serves Seaton. This location helps re-define boundaries and barriers in transforming lives.
The punctured facade invites people to look inside; transitioning between the outside and inside spaces.
On the inside, the building reveals more of its purpose; the central core shaped as a Ravine, with the cavernous walls naturally supporting the climbing walls which are the main focus of activities for the project.
With an expansive glass façade and roof structure the building is infused with natural light creating an atmosphere that is conducive to the activities and purpose of the buildings.
The Cavernous climbing wall integrates with and naturally supports light, adaptable, polycarbonate volume on two sides to offer activity and exhibition arenas, able to accommodate a range of activities, e.g, from bouldering to indoor football. The ambition of the building mirrors the ambition of transition extreme, to provide experiences which support growth and change, transforming lives and those same individuals transforming Aberdeen.
The project aims to:
- Harness the raw energy of young people in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire.
- Increase participation in sports from childhood to adulthood – engaging those not attracted to conventional sports.
- Provide an exciting diversionary facility which supports initiatives to reduce crime, substance abuse and antisocial behaviour.
- Engage young people that are disengaged from traditional forms of education, harnessing their raw energy through sport and projecting this towards positive outcomes.