Savill Building

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Savill Building
Saville Building roof interior long.jpg
General information
Type Visitor Centre / Pavilion
Location Windsor, England
Coordinates 51°25′38″N 0°35′48″W / 51.4271°N 0.5966°W / 51.4271; -0.5966Coordinates: 51°25′38″N 0°35′48″W / 51.4271°N 0.5966°W / 51.4271; -0.5966
Completed 2006
Technical details
Structural system Timber gridshell
Design and construction
Architect Glen Howells Architects
Structural engineer Buro Happold & Engineers Haskins Robinson Waters
Services engineer Buro Happold
Main contractor Green Oak Carpentry Company

The Savill Building is a visitor centre at the entrance to The Savill Garden in Windsor Great Park, Surrey, designed by Glen Howells Architects, Buro Happold and Engineers Haskins Robinson Waters. It was opened by His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh on the 26 June 2006.

Building[edit]

The building is located on the space of a mature beech tree plantation which was severely damaged in the hurricane of 1986. All remaining mature trees were retained in the scheme. The Stirling Prize judges describe it as:[1]

"This project is a good modern interpretation of that great British traditional form: the Pavilion in the Park."

Gridshell roof[edit]

The roof is the dominant feature of the building:

"So what you have is effectively a great big weather-sealed canopy, perched on dynamically angled steel legs. It is the ultimate summerhouse, the granddaddy of gazebos."
Hugh Pearman[2]

The building has a 'three-domed' sinusoidal-shaped gridshell roof of two layers of interlocking larch laths[3] (50 × 80 mm) on a one-metre square grid, supported on steel quadropods and a steel tubular ring-beam. The exact form of the roof was designed by Buro Happold to be the most structurally efficient possible using specialist in-house software (Tensyl). The roof is clad in plywood panels, with aluminium weather proofing and a top cladding of oak. All timber was harvested from the nearby Crown Estate. The roof is over 90 m in length and up to 25 m wide, and because of its own separate structural system appears to hover over the brick and glass facade of the building.

The carpentry, which used over 400 larch trees and 20 skilled carpenters, was done by the Green Oak Carpentry Company.[4]

Exterior[edit]

The roof structure remains exposed from the inside, and is the most eye-catching feature of the building. The entrance facade is covered by an extensive green roof, which is planted with Microbiota decussata and Juniperus squamata. The exterior cladding of the building is a full-height glass curtain walling system, providing spectacular views from inside and creating a stunning lighting effect in the dark.[5]

Interior[edit]

The building, which is partially below ground level, contains a shop, seminar rooms, offices, planteria (small garden centre) and restaurant, with a raised terrace along one edge allowing panoramic views over the gardens from the centre’s interior spaces. Below the entrance there is a basement housing service spaces including the kitchen, storerooms and washrooms.

The large main internal space is subdivided by Corian 'pods' which are separate from the main building structure.

Awards[edit]

The building was shortlisted for the 2007 Stirling Prize.

The structural design won the IStructE Structural Awards Supreme Award for Structural Engineering Excellence in 2007, in addition to the Award for Arts, Leisure or Entertainment Structures.

At the 2007 RIBA Awards it also won a RIBA Award and a RIBA National Award.

At the 2007 Wood Awards it won:

  • Gold Award
  • Commercial and Public Access Award
  • Structural Award

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]