Ecological architecture - sustainable design

This visitor reception and Guide facility on the site of the megalithic site at Knowth is an all timber ephemeral structure in contrast to the national monument. This small building is located in the immediate approach to the ancient tumuli.

These tumuli have a complex history: they now speak, in abstract terms, to an ancient sense of landscape and Nature quite different to the mainstream sensibility of the early the 21st century.

In approaching the design the architects wanted to avoid archaeological mimesis; to set the building lightly on the ground as a contrasting welcoming point for the visitor and as a working shelter for the guides. In this sense it stands on the ground like an insect or a bird or other 'animal' sentinel, and aware of its relatively short life in the context of the archaeological time.

Winner of the 2002 Ellison Award.