First landscaped in 1750 and with a long and storied history, Alnwick Garden had fallen into disrepair and was closed by 1950. A major redevelopment began in 1997 and by 2001 the first of several phases of dramatically transformed and contemporary public garden space was opened to the public. The revamped garden proved extremely popular for members of the public and a building was soon needed to welcome and care for them.

The new pavilion we designed for the site serves this purpose and is built off the enclosing entrance wall on a site overlooking the Garden. It includes a restaurant and function room arranged on either side of a covered terrace from which visitors to the site can enjoy the garden in shelter and shade. Kitchens and backup spaces are housed below.

Conceived as a contemporary greenhouse, the building houses organic, barrel-vaulted spaces formed by timber and steel lattice roofs covered in inflated transparent or translucent ETFE pillows. These reduce the effects of solar heating and glare. External walls are either glazed with sliding doors or fixed with solid timber panels. The building was awarded a BREEAM Good rating.


  • Location Alnwick, United Kingdom
  • Value £7.2 million
  • Size 2000 m²
  • Client The Alnwick Garden Trust
  • Year 2006

Selected Awards

  • RIBA Regional Award
  • Structural Steel Design Award: Special Award
  • The Wood Awards: Highly Commended