Advisory panel critical of DCM’s Stonehenge Visitor Centre

January 19, 2010

CABE says “more work is needed” on DCM’s proposal before planning permission is granted.

The Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) in England has advised that Denton Corker Marshall’s designs for the Stonehenge Visitor Centre needs further development before planning permission is granted.

The commission, a public agency that advises the government on architecture, urban design and public spaces, expressed concern about the landscape and architecture in the scheme. The design review states: “A feeling for [the] landscape is critical to the success of the scheme but seemed to be lacking in this presentation and accompanying images”.

The review says the plans fail to establish “straightforward and intuitive links” between each element in the visitor centre, describing the pedestrian routes as “tortuous”.

While the commission liked the idea of the canopy design over the visitor centre, they raised concerns that the arrangement of columns beneath the roof “generated an architectural aesthetic that has not been convincingly resolved technically”.

The review panel questioned whether the exposed environment would require an engineering solution that would “compromise the visually delicate structure” of the canopy, adding that it risked channelling rain and wind under the roof rather than providing adequate protection.

The design will be presented to Wiltshire Council for planning approval on Wednesday 20 January.

Read CABE’s full design review ["here":].

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