St David's Visitor Centre

Smith Roberts Associates, Pembrokeshire, 1999


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The main route into the city is marked by a stone tower 

Charlotte Wood (website)     Download Original

  • The main route into the city is marked by a stone tower    
  • View of the centre within its landscape setting    
  • Turf-roofed service spaces    
  • Internal view of information centre    
  • Internal stair to tower    
  • Water from the overhanging roof is collected in a Cor-ten hopper and channelled into a gravel-covered gulley    
  • Cast stone signage    
  • Site plan    
  • Ground floor plan    
  • Section    
  • Roof detail    
  • Isometric of rafter, column and window junction    

Visitor Centre within the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, serving as a gateway attraction to the city of St. David's

Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority commissioned the architects to design a visitor and information centre for the city of St. David's. The proposal aims to ease traffic and other pressures associated with the city’s popularity as a tourist destination.

The visitor centre encloses a circular courtyard on its north-eastern side, with a stone tower adjacent to the approach road acting as a symbolic gateway to the city. The curved spine of the building, a 3.8m high stone wall, separates the main exhibition and information space from smaller service spaces. These smaller spaces are housed under a lower monopitch turf roof attached to the north.

The exhibition and information space is a simple open-plan space, with an oak-framed glazed wall overlooking the courtyard. The zinc roof is carried on glulam rafters which span between the spine wall and a row of tapered cast stone columns bordering the courtyard. These columns are fitted with circular oak benches to provide covered outdoor seating.

Naturally ventilated, daylit by clearstory north-lights and landscaped with native planting, the visitor centre advocates responsible attitudes towards the Pembrokeshire environment.


  • Begun: Jan 1998
  • Completed: 1999
  • Floor area: 400m2
  • Sectors: Civic, Religious, Arts and culture
  • Total cost: £749,818
  • Tender date: Nov 1997
  • Address: St David's Visitors Centre, Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, SA62 6PE, United Kingdom

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