Now owned by the Forestry Commission, Grizedale Forest is enchanting and really does seem to cater for everyone. The forest has a number of well defined trails, each walk has a designated colour waymarking sign for you to follow. Visitors can choose from gentle strolls suitable for pushchairs and wheelchairs to more demanding all day walks. The Forestry commission was reviewing their Education Service Programmes and was interested in hearing from schools and architectural firms in looking at the potential of partnership working in the production of joint education programmes covering: Coursework, Work experience, Physical activities in a natural environment, Art in the outdoors and Outreach initiatives.
Thus the project wait watch aims to serve the public as an outlook tower where visitors can experience the forest in a series of curated vies and experiences. The journey to the site is reflected in the experience of the building. Contradictory spaces in the tower excite the senses, on the way up, visitors will ascend through the core with limited views to the forest outside. Each view is framed to highlight a specific feature of the forest, giving the viewer a framed window in which they can appreciate the natural environment. But on the way down their view will be opened up to the wide expanse available to them with little separating them from the view and the elements. These contradictory views offer an exciting reading of the site and provides an educational outlook to first time visitors.
The site is a tree felling area and people will experience the building differently depending the time of the tree’s life cycle they visit. When the trees have matured the visitor will be among them, giving a cozy enclosed cabin in the woods feel. When the trees are young at the beginning of their cycle the visitors will have more views of Grizedale itself. On the first floor of the tower is a modest sized classroom where teachers can bring students to learn about the forest and beyond the classroom are outdoor activity centers where specific workshops can be undertaken.
Tower in Grisedale Forest
Lead Architectural Designer