Anglesey Abbey is well known for its gardens, which offer superb vistas and an impressive collection of plants within a formal arrangement. Visitor numbers to this National Trust property have risen to over 180,000 per year and in recent years this has placed a strain on the visitor facilities.
ArchitectCowper Griffith Architects
Main ContractorHaymills (Contractors) Ltd
Joinery ContractorCoulson Building Group
Wood SupplierCapricorn Timber
Timber SpeciesWestern Red Cedar
Timber ElementsCladding, Louvred panels
Anglesey Abbey is well known for its gardens, which offer superb vistas and an impressive collection of plants within a formal arrangement. Visitor numbers to this National Trust property have risen to over 180,000 per year and in recent years this has placed a strain on the visitor facilities. Prior to the opening of the new buildings in July 2007, the facilities comprised a teahouse constructed in 1975, which had undergone 11 extensions. Very few buildings look or work well after this many alterations!
The new facilities deliberately straddle the car parking on the east side and the formal gardens on the west. Helping visitors to undertake the transition from arrivals and parking to the much calmer environment of the gardens is a very important goal of the new facilities.
Part of the National Trust’s brief to architects Cowper Griffith was to ensure that the gardens definitely remained the main attraction – the centre, whilst being attractive, was to be ‘recessive’, rather than becoming a competing feature to the gardens.
An important factor in achieving this goal was the design of the glazing and associated shading. The client wanted visitors to enjoy seeing the garden from the centre, but did not want those in the garden to be too distracted by the building, especially reflections on large expanses of glass.
Louvred screens providing ‘filtering layers’ were used in various locations – two particular elements of which are the subject of this timber solution. The first is a wooden louvred system constructed in the gable ends of the east and west facing elevations, which was used in combination with other solid and glazed elements in the gable. The second is an external sliding louvred wooden panel arrangement installed in front of three aluminium sliding doorsets on the south elevation.
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