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The Woodland Trust and the Royal Institute of British Architects announce shortlist for visitor hub in First World War Centenary Woodlands, Surrey

Posted  17 March 2016 in News  
By Liz Robertson

The Woodland Trust and the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) are pleased to announce the shortlist in the open design competition for a new Visitor Hub at Langley Vale Wood in Surrey.

Langley Vale is a circa 640 acre site in Surrey on the edge of the M25. The site has been identified as England’s First World War Centenary Wood for the Woodland Trust’s First World War Centenary Woods project. The new visitor hub will provide visitors with shelter and public convenience facilities but also welcome, inspire and encourage them to explore the landscape beyond.

The competition received an excellent response and the judging panel met on Wednesday 10 February to assess the designs and select a shortlist of three teams to proceed to the next stage of the competition. The shortlisted teams (in alphabetical order) are:

• Mark Wray Architects, Bath

Mark Wray Architects

• MORE design, London

MORE Design

• Studio Octopi, London

Studio Octopi

The teams will now work on their design proposals and will be invited to attend an interview at the end of April 2016. The Trust and RIBA want to share these designs widely, and gather as much feedback from the public as possible – more information to be announced soon.

Sarah Wigglesworth, RIBA Adviser commented: “The competition had a tremendous response. Perhaps this is not surprising because the brief and the site offer a great opportunity for a team to make a mark. The research, imagination and communication of ideas in the submissions were astonishing. Although it was hard choosing just three to go forward, the selected teams offer different approaches while capturing the values and needs of the Woodland Trust. I look forward to the next stage with relish.

Beccy Speight, Chief Executive at the Woodland Trust and competition judge, said: “Selecting just three designs from more than 250 entries was incredibly difficult, but we were thrilled to see how our First World War Centenary Woods project had captured the imaginations of so many. Creating this visitor hub at Langley Vale is very important to us; we want it to be not only a place of remembrance, but a valuable local resource. This will be our first visitor hub in England, and is just part of our wider plan to provide facilities which enhance the experience for anyone spending time in our woods.”

Find out more about the First World War Centenary Woods project on the Woodland Trust’s website.

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