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Sutton Hoo Visitors’ Centre

Sutton Hoo Visitors’ Centre

Commercial & Public Access Award Winner 2003

Location: Suffolk
Architect: van Heyningen & Haward Architects
Wood Species: Douglas Fir, Softwood

Acclaimed by every judge for both its overall design and attention to detailing Sutton Hoo Visitors Centre is a carefully considered and executed project that was hard to fault. In the exhibition hall and visitors’ facilities for the Anglo-Saxon burial ground of the 7th century kings of East Anglia, architect van Heyningen & Haward uses Douglas fir for the structural frames and as a cladding material. The two buildings, which have large overhanging bays, stand facing each other on an asymmetrical axis to form a clear entrance area and courtyard. The judges said the two gabled pavilions were designed with a clarity of thought and understanding of materials that is rarely achieved. The workmanship was executed with sensitivity and skill throughout. The external shiplap boarding not only echoes the hull of an Anglo-saxon burial ship, it is also a cost-effective, renewable resource. The architect’s informed concept and clean design was noted for its differing impact on the two buildings. While the judges felt that to the the exhibition hall is rightly subservient display, in the visitors’ centre the design comes to the fore. both design and workmanship the In project was described as outstanding. T matching of grains on mitres and were and intelligent choice of stain co two elements highlighted by the panel