Giants Causeway

Project Information

Giants Causeway
Visitors Centre, County Antrim, Northern Ireland

Smith Caradoc-Hodgkins Architects entered an international competition to create a Visitors Centre for the attraction.  The design had to address the relationship between the visitor and the site.  We wanted to create a structure that would function as a gateway between the ordinary world and the realm of myth.

 

It had to be robust, both externally and internally, as an exposed point through which so many people would pass. We designed a simple rectangular form, proportioned to allow a powerful relationship to the expanse of sea and shore to the north. The building contains a semi sunken gallery and education centre to the west and café, administration, retail and sports facilities to the east.

 

Visitors enter a central room which looks out to the landscape beyond. It is a simple space designed for orientation and relaxation and contains a variety of spatial experiences and light modulations.  Rooflights connect the viewer with the elements above and glass floor windows reveal basalt columns below.  A viewing and picnic gallery is suspended over the site, ensuring the centre is both within the landscape and yet distanced from the Causeway.