Dundreggan Rewilding Centre
Trees for Life
In 2008, after many years as a traditional deer stalking estate, Trees for Life purchased Dundreggan, a 10,000-acre estate between Loch Ness and the Isle of Skye. The charity has since focussed on rewilding the estate by restoring the Caledonian Forest and the aim of creating the world’s first Rewilding Visitor Centre.
The design response creates a building and landscape design that has been inspired by the Dundreggan estate and the local Gaelic heritage. The facility includes a welcome (orientation) space, café/ restaurant, multi-use lecture/ classroom facilities, library, ‘story cave’, adventure playground and dipping pond.
Positioned to minimise impact on the topography, the building aims to intrigue visitors and to create clear orientation amongst the existing trees and wilderness beyond. The structure and envelope are informed by timber technology and our research into the sustainable circular economy, with the building oriented to harvest the solar energy (and views). The unique sculptured rusted colour roof form is inspired by the forest canopy, combined with Scottish larch clad walls and ‘tree trunk’ colonnades that enclose the external spaces. Internally there is a rich diversity of character, with a mixture of active and quiet spaces that are enhanced using different timber finishes and expressions of natural light from above.
We’re confident the Centre will fulfil its primary role as a welcoming gateway that orientates and educates, weaving a visitor’s journey through the site, the building and the wider path network.