- Client: Northumberland Estates
- Sector: Leisure
- Value: £17.7m
- Size: 12-acre garden
- Location: North East
- Services: Pre-Construction, McAlpine Design Group, Construction, Civil Engineering
- Completion date: 2008
Located within the grounds of Alnwick Castle in the heart of Northumberland, we transformed a derelict 12-acre garden into a majestic tourist attraction.
Originally constructed in the 1750s and further developed during the 1850s, Alnwick garden was amongst the finest in Europe. During the 20th Century, the site fell into disrepair after the Second World War.
Using our civil engineering excellence, we helped revitalise the derelict 12-acre garden within the grounds of Alnwick Castle, featuring a centrepiece Grand Cascade and one of the world’s largest treehouses.
Our project teams have completed a series of contracts at the attraction including:
- The Grand Cascade
- The Pavilion and Visitor Centre
- One of the world’s largest treehouses
- The formation of three new gardens
- A playground and car park
The initial stages of delivering Alnwick Garden included the creation of an ornamental garden with pools and rills, and the provision of the cascade and fountain scheme.
Phase one also delivered the construction of the Visitor Centre which contains an information centre, shops, classrooms, an admissions area and courtyard coffee shop.
The Garden Pavilion, the Serpent Garden, the Poison Garden and the Bamboo Labyrinth were also delivered during phase one of the transformation.
Set within a semi-mature woodland environment, the garden's treehouse was built using natural materials from sustainable sources and is supported off the ground with certain features built off the trees.
The main deck is supported by Glulam timber beams, which are carried on a set of splayed timber columns.
Special measures were also taken to protect the trees. We developed a foundation design that transfers structural loads away from the root zones. Surveys of the trees in windy conditions have allowed predictions to be made for gale force conditions.
The wooden ‘fairytale-like’ structure stands up to 60ft high with extraordinary suspended satellite walkways which appear to float around semi-mature lime trees.
Alnwick Garden Pavilion was honoured at the Royal Institute of British Architects Awards (RIBA). The judges felt the emphasis on sustainability and awarded the Pavilion and Visitor Centre with the Composite Steel and Timber Structure Award.
The treehouse was also recognised at the Local Authority Building Control Awards (LABC) and was awarded the Best Access/Disability Regulations Innovation award.
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