The National Wallace Monument visitor centre opened in March 2009, greatly improving the visitor experience for this important site. The new visitor centre houses a café and staff offices, with the refurbished existing building continuing to house retail and public WC facilities.
The new building comprises a partial mono-pitched roof and is linked to the existing building via a low-level entrance area. The internal public areas are open and bright, with double-height glazing to the rear allowing panoramic views of the Abbey Craig. The timber roof structure spans almost seven metres to allow large uninterrupted spaces internally. The roof cantilevers a further two metres to create a welcoming canopy directing visitors in from the car park area.
The scope of the structural works was the design of the sub and super structure for the new visitor centre. The civil and structural engineering aspects of the project included:
- Cutting into the hillside to create a rear terrace and regrading of the slope of the hill to ensure it was stable enough.
- Drainage, connecting a new foul and surface water into the existing network.
- Specifying the hardstanding for new car parking spaces and commenting on the effect this would have on the draining of surface water.
- Modification the existing pavilion which involved strengthening the roof and ceiling ties to take a large water tank.
Roses Design Awards 2010: Public Building - Gold Medal Winner
Scottish Design Awards: Public Building - Commendation