Giants Causeway Centre
The Giant’s Causeway Centre as illustrated here is tragically no more. It met its fate in 2000 when a fire destroyed the major part of the buildings.
The Giant’s Causeway is one of the natural wonders of the world; a geological formation of crystalline basalt rock marching into the sea. Its uniqueness was confirmed at the time of completion of the original project in 1986 when it was listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, and thus received world-wide recognition as an area of outstanding value. The visitor centre buildings were located at the cliff head away from the stones of the Causeway in a strong composition, contemporary, but drawing references from the context and vernacular elements of Irish building. Other nearby structures such as the Bushmills Distillery were reflected in the twin turrets that marked the skyline. Ancient field walls were incorporated into the wall lines of the new buildings. These old wall lines form geometrical ruptures in the otherwise orthogonal general alignment of the plan along the edge of the land overlooking the sea far below. They informed the arrangement of exhibition spaces and the souvenir and craft kiosks around a protected courtyard. In many respects, the quality of the project was dependent on the builders and persons whose labours created the buildings and their surroundings on such a fine but uncompromising site. It took particular determination through months of bitter weather to lay cement, block and brick; and raise timbers against enervating and persistent winds. Their spirit remains a powerful memory.
The Giant’s Causeway project has received a number of awards: a Carnegie ‘Interpret Britain’ Award, a British Tourist Authority ‘Come to Britain’ Award, the British Airways Tourism Endeavour Award, the Ulster Tourist Development Association Award, an award from the Guild of British Travel Writers, and an RICS/The Times Coast and Countryside Conservation Award.
- Bushmills, Northern Ireland
- 500 to 999 sqm
- Culture & Entertainment - Visitors' Centres, Education - General, Food and Beverage - Restaurants, Retail - One-off Shops
- Conservation & Restoration, Contract Advice, Full Architectural Service, Planning Applications
- Guild of British Travel Writers Award
- Ulster Tourism Development Association Award
- British Airways Tourism Endeavour Award
- British Tourist Authority 'Come to Britain' Award
- Carnegie 'Interpret Britain' Award
- RICS/Times Coast and Countryside Conservation Award
- Civic Trust Award