The Witherford Watson Mann-designed visitor centre at Walthamstow Wetlands has received £4.4million of Heritage Lottery funding
The Stirling Prize-winning practice’s scheme will convert an existing, listed Victorian pumping station and neighbouring mill into a new visitor centre and viewing platform.
The decommissioned pumping station will be repaired and upgraded. The building’s original engine rooms will be reused for temporary exhibitions and a new exhibition gallery and viewing terrace will be inserted in the 12m-tall engine room.
A new brickwork tower will be constructed on the plinth of the original chimney to provide a habitat for swifts and bats.
The visitor centre will act as hub connecting the network of paths running through the wetlands.
The site’s grade II-listed pumping mill will have a new viewing platform added within its Victorian Italianate chimney.
Designed by Kinnear Landscape Architects, the 2million m² site includes semi-wild water landscape and preserved natural habit which will be accessible by pedestrians and cyclists by a boardwalk running alongside the old River Lea.
The wetlands are owned by Thames Water and provide drinking water for London.
Chris Robbins, Waltham Forest council leader said: ‘We’re absolutely delighted at the news that we have secured the £4.4million of funding to make the Walthamstow Wetlands project a reality. This is something we have put an awful lot of work into over many years and to see it finally coming to fruition is very gratifying. Not only will it be another fantastic addition to the borough and something I am sure our residents will make the most of, it will also open up access across the Wetland site to neighbouring boroughs and beyond.’
Location Walthamstow, London
Type of project visitor centre
Client London Borough of Waltham Forest
Architect Witherford Watson Mann
Landscape architects Kinnear Landscape Architects (KLA)
Structural engineer TALL
M&E engineer P3R Engineers
Quantity surveyor Cinns
Exhibition design Real Studios
Business planning Counterculture
Funding Waltham Forest Council, and supported by funding from partners including Thames Water, Greater London Authority and the Environment Agency