Newcastle architects design Sherwood Forest visitor centre.
Tegan Chapman

Newcastle architects design Sherwood Forest visitor centre

A visitor centre for Sherwood Forest designed by a Newcastle-based architects has now opened.

The RSPB-led consortium, which includes the RSPB, the Sherwood Forest Trust, The Woodland Trust and Thoresby Estate, have officially opened the £5.3m Sherwood Forest Visitor Centre.

Newcastle-based JDDK Architects undertook the extensive public consultations to fine tune the design prior to construction.

The centre was built by Woodhead Construction in a 12 month programme, and is a 558sq metre split level structure designed to lead visitors into Sherwood Forest.

JDDK principal architect, Alison Thornton-Sykes, said: “One of the main features of the centre is its curved, twisted form, created by staggered roof beams, which reflect the forest environment and the ‘trees that sheltered him’ concept of Robin Hood.

“There are several different elements to this from creating an initial welcoming area for visitors with toilets, retail and recreation facilities to creating wilderness zones to give visitors a real sense of the ancient forest environment.

“Indeed, one of the most popular attractions of the whole area is the magnificent Major Oak, the approximately 1,000 year old oak tree where the Merry Men outlaw band supposedly slept.”

The building has been designed to achieve a BREEAM Very Good rating.

Ross Frazer, RSPB project manager, added: “We were tasked with providing a visitor centre which would be a modern gateway to the ancient forest, and feel that the completed building matches this brief perfectly.

“JDDK designed a centre befitting of this legendary forest, and produced a building which sits beautifully in this landscape, of which we are extremely proud.”

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