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Specere, Deadwater Fell, Kielder by Adjaye Associates

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David Adjaye’s mountain bike shelter makes the most of the view on the top of a mountain in Kielder Water and Forest Park.

The only shelter in the series that is positioned away from the lakeside, Adjaye Associates’ Specere benefits from a spectacular location atop Deadwater Fell, one of the highest mountains in the area at 580m. On a clear day, it’s possible to see both the Irish Sea in the west and the North Sea in the east. is lofty vantage point has made Deadwater Fell popular with both the RAF (the Ministry of Defence has a small radar station there for local low flying) and mountain bikers, as evidenced by the trail signs giving the name and address of the nearest hospital.

Adjaye’s structure caters for the mountain bikers, but the trapezoidal plan and section have echoes of a mysterious military installation, a kind of wooden sound mirror. The shelter is constructed from Douglas fi r, in a series of individual portal frames that provide structural stability. Bikers access it from the north via a small entrance at the back. The plan then fans out to a wide opening with benches on one side. The 8.5 x 7m platform has sufficient space for a few bikes and for up to 10 hungry bikers to tuck into their sandwiches and enjoy the view.

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