Hauxley Wildlife Discovery Centre, Morpeth

Exceptional level of engagement with volunteers

Hauxley Wildlife Discovery Centre
Hauxley Wildlife Discovery Centre Credit: John Faulkner

Brightblue Studio for Northumberland Wildlife Trust
Contract value: £610,000
GIA: 295 m²
Cost per m²: £2,068

Hauxley Wildlife Discovery Centre sits in a nature reserve and was designed to optimise views and its relationship with the environment. Its axial form takes the visitor from formal offices and learning spaces through a café and framed viewing points. It has opened up wildlife trails and birdwatching opportunities for all. There has also been an exceptional level of engagement with volunteers, who constructed the timber frame, straw bale walls and a rammed earth floor, and pieced together the gabion frames, laid the green roofs and did the lime rendering.

  • Hauxley Wildlife Discovery Centre
    Hauxley Wildlife Discovery Centre Credit: Sheila Sharp
  • Hauxley Wildlife Discovery Centre
    Hauxley Wildlife Discovery Centre Credit: Sheila Sharp
  • Hauxley Wildlife Discovery Centre
    Hauxley Wildlife Discovery Centre Credit: John Faulkner
  • Hauxley Wildlife Discovery Centre
    Hauxley Wildlife Discovery Centre Credit: John Faulkner
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The use of local materials is outstanding and includes locally quarried stone, wool from local sheep for insulation and clay from nearby road works for the flooring. Timber frames and sawn boarding from trees on the client’s estate, as well as straw bales from local farms, were also used. The result of all this effort is a concrete-free building that significantly reduces embodied energy and provides a healthy internal environment.

Client of the Year sponsored by Tobermore

Sustainability award sponsored by Geberit

​See other winners in the RIBA regional awards - North East 

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