Kirroughtree Visitor Centre

A flagship visitor centre located in Galloway Forest Park for the Forestry Commission Scotland forming part of a roll out programme of five centres around Scotland offering improved facilities for visitors.

Date

2013

Client

Forestry Commission Scotland

Value

£3.4m

The visitor centre is situated in Galloway Forest Park and sits within a ‘dark skies’ designated landscape. The visitor experience areas and café spaces have been set out in a linear arrangement relative to the long view of Cairnsmore.

The building is single storey. Three modulated roof forms with top light cover the main public space; their internal form is revealed giving a sense of enclosure to the spaces below. These forms are part of the ventilation strategy and have ‘black out’ blinds to conform with dark skies standards.

The building form has been designed so as to have an appropriate relationship with the Forest setting. Although the topography is challenging all paths within the immediate vicinity of the centre have been designed to the appropriate standards enabling universal access.

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The Challenge

A continued increase in visitor numbers, the poor condition of the building and its incorrect alignment required a major re-working of this site. The brief from Forestry Commission Scotland was to provide new visitor facilities at the existing Forestry Commission site at Kirroughtree next to the settlement of Stronord.

The Solution

The Kirroughtree Project entailed the construction of a new visitor centre and bike / outdoor shop, the demolition of redundant buildings and the refurbishment of the old visitor centre to provide improved classroom facilities.

The Outcome

The new visitor facility gives better connection to the trails for bikes and walkers and creates a sustainable facility allowing visitors to enjoy the benefits of the forest and dark skies.

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