A colonnaded screen of green oak framed with steel
The reception and orientation centre is a transparent two-storey pavilion. It is designed to integrate with the landscape while giving extensive views, allowing visitors to orientate themselves.
A colonnaded screen of oak fins,100m long and 4m high, runs in front of the south wall. This forms an additional layer to the glass facade, filtering views of woodland and water and acting as a gateway to the building and landscape beyond. Two large openings in the screen are mirrored versions of each other. One, formed by lowering the screen, allows the glazed wall of the staircase landing to emerge; the other, formed by raising the screen to act as a bridge, is the main entrance.
The screen is formed of 250 x 100mm green oak fins at 600mm centres, framed and stiffened with a continuous 250mm wide steel plate which runs at the top and base and around the openings. The oak - a gift from the French National Park authority - came from trees felled in the 1997 storm.
In its typical 4m high condition, the screen is formed of 250 x 100mm oak fins flitched with 400 x 200mm steel plates to the 250mm wide top plate and base plate and bolted with stainless steel hex-head bolts.
Oak fins adjacent to the two large openings have been adapted to act as bracing members; each fin is fabricated from a 120 x 60mm RHS, bolted with stainless steel studs to four separate oak pieces to match the typical fins.
Above the main entrance the oak and steel frame act as a Vierendeel beam to span 12m. Each fin is fabricated from a 60 x 40mm RHS post, bolted with studs to two separate oak pieces.