Next month a consortium of partners, led by the RSPB, will be assuming guardianship of Sherwood Forest in Nottinghamshire. As part of the new initiative, a brand new £5 million visitor centre will be opening in the Forest in a few weeks time and we are very pleased to announce that we have been involved with the retail interior design and customer experience at the new centre – which is expected to be an iconic new gateway to the area. Best known for the legend of Robin Hood, the Forest covers over a thousand acres and the new partnership, comprised of six agencies – including Nottinghamshire City Council and The Woodland Trust – will be working together to protect and enhance the space for future generations.
Designed by JDDK architects, the new centre takes a distinctive, organic form which curves and twists into the forest environment, sympathetically enhancing the space and creating flow from the forest into the village of Edwinstowe. The centre presents a modern take on the traditional village square, comprising the new visitor attraction, YHA Hostel, cricket club and local craft centre.
The new Sherwood Forest partnership is committed to preserving the forest and protecting the wildlife in the area whilst welcoming visitors and helping them to experience all of the wonder and history of this unique environment.
The most notable feature of the new building are the striking curves, created using a series of staggered roof beams designed to reflect the woodland environment whilst also acknowledging the legends of the local area where Robin Hood and his men used the trees to hide from enemies and shelter from the elements. Spread over two levels covering 558 square metres the building will contain a range of useful amenities including a retail space, a café, toilets and a section for seasonal displays and events. The curve of the building is designed to guide visitors through the information, retail and exhibition space and out into the forest. Once outside the overhanging roof canopy leads towards an amphitheatre, ideal for group visits and talks, with the forest beyond.
We’ll have more pictures of the new visitor centre once it is opened. In the meantime, here are some pics of the exterior work in progress. If you’re planning a visit to Nottinghamshire over the summer hols do check out the new centre – we’d love to know what you think!