White Design was commissioned by Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust to design a new Nature Observatory and improve the infrastructure to the Cors Dyfi Nature Reserve in Powys, Wales. The scheme has won several awards including an RICS Award and a National Lottery Environmental Award.
The scheme delivers a new nature observatory with multiple viewing platforms, as well as improvements and additions to existing boardwalk routes through the site.
The observatory gives visitors a new perspective to the surrounding nature reserve and landscape, as well as an opportunity to view the wide number of local species, including a breeding pair of Ospreys, who have been featured on BBC 2‘s ‘Springwatch’.
A new boardwalk has been installed into areas of the reserve, creating new wildlife watching areas including a waterside viewing area and access to the new raised-level bird observatory. With new education stations, screen otter viewing areas and improved access, the new infrastructure is designed to make it easier for visitors to appreciate and learn about all the wildlife on the Reserve.
The building is sensitive to its surroundings and local wildlife - the roof has been deliberately designed with a pitch so as not to be confused with the osprey nesting platforms. The main frame of the building uses glulam timber for the structure, giving an interesting form with flexibility internally and creating the spaces required in the observatory, without the restrictions of walls. The building is very open, with over half of the building being outside, and a third semi enclosed. The balustrading and the open cladding allow the building and the landscape to blend together.