Painshill Park is an 18th century landscaped garden restored to its former glory. The new visitor facilities were required to provide information and ticketing, a shop and cafe, WCs and an education centre to meet the needs of a growing number of visitors. The building was supported by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Visitor centres can detract from the attraction they seek to promote, and there was always a danger that this building would be an intrusion rather than an insertion into the existing landscape. We felt the solution was to break down the bulk of the accommodation into a series of spaces; some under ground, some cut through and some elevated above the ground.
Whilst the architecture is very much dictated by the site and particular topography, it is unashamedly comtemporary in its form and details. Like Charles Hamilton's 18th century landscape, the buildings are built to last and designed to create a statement that is both bold and functional as well as respecting the 'genius of the place'.
The building is highly insulated, using low emissivity glass and a high efficiency under floor heating system with a condensing boiler. The spaces all benefit from high levels of daylight whilst being protected from glare.