Tamar Valley Centre

Projects / Residential

Tamar Valley Centre

Inspiring addition to a natural and historical context (2010)

The centre was built as the gateway of the Tamar Valley, Cornwall. The building, as positioned on top of a gentle slope, can avoid the need for extensive retaining walls, whilst still maintaining reasonable access to the public open space behind.As an organisation, the Tamar AONB wished to promote a sustainable tourism, and the building reflects this in its design.

The use of insulation, thermal mass and wind driven ventilation with heat recovery helps to reduce the energy loads of the building as far as possible using passive means. A biomass boiler and solar thermal roof mounted collector ensure a carbon neutral heating strategy, where all the heating and hot water demands of the building are met from renewable sources. A forthcoming wind turbine together with the array of roof mounted photovoltaic panels are expected to provide about 75% of the average annual electrical usage. The roof profile has been designed with a south facing slope, with the highest ridge to the north clearing much of the over- shadowing effect of the trees.

A CNC-cut (computer controlled router) prefabricated heavyweight timber frame has been designed to support the building fabric of a low energy, sustainable building.
The more public, accessible spaces are located on the ground floor with a reception desk, a meeting room, the main office and the Parish archive on the first floor. Full accessibility is guaranteed by a lift.
A large glazed facade captures the best views, and can be opened up to connect better with the timber viewing deck in front of the building.
The materials used, both in and out, are robust, and chosen for minimum maintenance, but also locally supplied to reflect local tradition and resources. The Tamar Valley Centre benefits from both passive and active measures to ensure an excellent sustainability status is fully achieved.

Princess Anna visiting Tamar Valley House

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