Slimbridge Wetlands Conservation Centre

ECD Architects, Slimbridge, 2000


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View of timber bridge and entrance 

Peter Cook/VIEW (website)     Download Original

  • View of timber bridge and entrance    
  • View of observation tower    
  • External view    
  • The base of the observation tower rises up behind the desk in the main reception area.    
  • The restaurant has a sweeping boat-like timber roof    
  • A gentle ramp leads from the generous foyer area on the upper floor/entrance level to the exhibition spaces and amenities on the ground floor    
  • The route through buildings offers visitors views of the wildfowl, before eventually leading out onto the wetlands themselves    
  • Ground floor plan    
  • First floor plan    
  • Section    
  • Detail plan at window    
  • Key cross section through east facade    

Collection of new visitor facilities at the Slimbridge headquarters of the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust in Gloucestershire

The Wetland Centre at Slimbridge, founded in 1946 by Sir Peter Scott, has been developed by ECD Architects into a venue equipped to to deal with 300,000 visitors per year.

Part of the architects' brief was to integrate the existing buildings into the new scheme which includes entrance/exhibition spaces, offices, restaurant, shop and a 16m high observation tower with views across the Severn estuary. In addition there were extensive landscaping works including water bodies and reed beds.

The overall horizontality of the building is emphasised through the use of gentle ramps and layers of brick and timber cladding which also reflects the structural hierarchy - a concrete-framed base supporting a steel structure with timber cladding.

TThe project features renewable materials, a reed bed waste system, grey water recycling and has high insulation standards.


  • Completed: 2000
  • Sectors: Education, Sports and leisure
  • Total cost: £3.8M
  • Funding: Millenium Lottery funding
  • Address: Wetlands Conservation Centre, Bowditch, Slimbridge, GL2 7BT, United Kingdom

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