Gateway to the White Cliffs, Dover

van Heyningen and Haward Architects, Dover, 1999


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Low concrete stumps form a fairy ring of seats which is idea for children 

Tim Soar (website)     Download Original

  • Low concrete stumps form a fairy ring of seats which is idea for children    
  • View of the visitor centre and across Dover harbour    
  • White cliffs visitor centre in the shadow of Dover Castle    
  • The architect adopted a strategy of     
  • Approach to the centre    
  • The brick wall shielding the service area doubles as an exhibition space on the public side    
  • Children using the concrete stumps of the fairy ring as seats    
  • A queue with a view – outwards and upwards     
  • The centre has views across the sea    
  • Roof detail    
  • Siteplan    
  • Ground plan    
  • Cross section    
  • Roof detail    
  • Roof eaves detail    

National Trust scheme with an information centre and restaurant for visitors to the Langdon Cliffs

The design for the National Trust's visitor facilities in this area of Outstanding Natural Beauty blends with its surroundings and it low wooden structure with grass roof is designed to be highly energy efficient.

The grass provides thermal insulation and has its own irrigation and drainage system. The Gateway building houses both a restaurant and an information centre on the work of the National Trust, as well as details of local archaeology, history and landscape.


  • Begun: Sep 1998
  • Completed: Mar 1999
  • Sector: Arts and culture
  • Total cost: £5M
  • Funding: Private
  • Procurement: IFC 84
  • Address: Dover, United Kingdom

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