Reblogged with thanks to Get Surrey
The new development at Virginia Water lake houses a visitor centre and covered seating area, and was made using timer grown on the Windsor Estate.
A long-awaited pavilion next to Virginia Water lake has been officially opened, two years after a controversial planning agreement.
The Crown Estate’s latest addition to Windsor Great Park is a centre for visitor information and support, which includes a covered seating area, providing picturesque views across the lake.
However, not everyone was in favour of such a structure on green belt land.
Numerous guests attended the official opening on Thursday September 19 to see a building which was constructed by timber grown and harvested on the Windsor Estate.
Around 195 cubic metres of Douglas Fir have been used for the structure, and 125 cubic metres of oak for the cladding, with a design intended to sit comfortably with the surroundings.
Crown Estate chairman Sir Stuart Hampson said: “The provision of high quality visitor facilities is important to the Crown Estate but the design of the new pavilion needed to respect the Grade I listed landscape in which the building sits.
“I’m sure the millions who come here over the years will thoroughly enjoy this facility and it will become a valued feature of this beautiful landscape.”
The pavilion boasts energy-efficient LED lighting, solar panel cells on the roof, a rainwater harvesting system to reduce reliance on mains water for flushing toilets, and air-source heat pumps to provide background heating for the building.
David Segall, engineering consultant, said: “We had to deal with road blocks on the way that slowed the process down but it was worth it at the end. It would be surprising if anyone found it intrusive.”
The plans were approved in 2011, despite borough council recommendations for it not to go ahead.
Operations manager Nick Day said: “When we built it we did not know how visitors would react to it. Windsor Great Park gets three million visitors a year, and I estimate that in the region of a million come to this part of the park.”
He added: “We had a fantastic reception, both from visitors and people who came here for the first time. They loved the position of it and the simplicity of it, but also it’s very elegant.
“It will take several months to see how the public want to use the building. All in all it seems we have got it right.”