The National Memorial Arboretum (NMA), Staffordshire, is the UK’s year-round centre of Remembrance; a spiritually uplifting place which honours the fallen, recognises service and sacrifice and fosters pride in our country. The Arboretum forms part of the National Forest, with 30,000 maturing trees and over 330 memorials.
The new £15.7m Remembrance Centre provides a gateway into the 150-acre site and is also home to exhibition and interpretation spaces, retail space, a restaurant, a café and a learning centre.
The building engages materially with its environment, chiming with the existing structures that define the NMA and harnessing a soft material concept of larch timber and natural stone.
A prominent rotunda, housing an immersive film experience, is a deliberate punctuation of the unifying four metre grid applied throughout the building. The interiors, also by GHA, respond to the architectural language of the new building and the surrounding landscape, with natural materials, textures and colours employed throughout.
The centre piece of the project is a new public space known as Heroes’ Square. The landscape designed by Fira, sweeps gently to the level of Millennium Avenue visually and physically connecting the building to the wider Arboretum.
Building of the Year Award
RICS Awards, West Midlands 2017
Community Benefit Award – shortlisted