Spurn visitor centre design is in step with nature

INNOVATIVE DESIGN proposals for a visitor centre at one of the coast’s most wildlife-rich beauty spots have been unveiled by Yorkshire Wildlife Trust.

A photograph of Spurn Point lighthouse captured by John Leigh of Sheffield.

Architects have come up with a building for Spurn National Nature Reserve that has been designed in two parts. The lower floor would be built using concrete reclaimed on-site as filling for gabion - or caged - walls. An open structure, it could be inhabited by wildlife and would accommodate flood water.

Above, the upper floor would be a modular construction so that the component units could be manufactured elsewhere before being fitted together on the reserve.

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Gary Hornsby, director at Salt Architects, said: “Both parts have been designed to have a minimum impact on the site during the construction phase. We are proposing to use natural materials where possible with a green roof and timber clad exterior. It is envisaged that as the landscape changes the building can be carefully dismantled and repositioned elsewhere.”

The tidal surge that wreaked havoc at the reserve in December 2013, causing the loss of a large stretch of the access road to Spurn Point, has meant the site’s guardians at the YWT have reviewed how they look after the reserve for wildlife and ensure visitor safety. The new visitor centre has been designed with these concerns in mind.

The centre will cost £900,000 to build, with the help of a contribution from energy firm E.ON which has been constructing the nearby Humber Gateway offshore wind farm. It is expected to host at least 3,000 schoolchildren and students each year, and will provide indoor space for community groups, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution and Associated British Ports to use.

To share the plans with the local community, a public meeting chaired by Beverley and Holderness MP Graham Stuart will be held at Easington Community Hall at 2pm on July 17.