Refined, controlled and sensitive to its setting
Crook Hall visitor centre, Durham
Elliott Architects for Crook Hall
Contract value: £0.32m
The new visitor centre is the reception for visitors to the grade I-listed Crook Hall house and gardens, the building forming an edge to the street and also enclosing a new courtyard, which acts as an orientation space for the grounds. Replacing a previous tired-looking shed, the form is reminiscent of Hansel and Gretel’s house, with walls clad in timber cedar boards and shingles on the roof. It acts as a playful aside to the house’s romantic setting.
With a café, reception area and ancillary facilities at ground level opening on to its sunny terrace, the new programme has meant the building can be hired out for weddings and events, while the upper level flat, overlooking the River Wear, is available for rent.
Detailing is refined, controlled and sensitive to its setting, with a family feel that means it has been quickly adopted by the local community as the new place to see and be seen.