Walthamstow Wetlands

© Heini Schneebeli

Architects
Witherford Watson Mann and Kinnear Landscape Architects

Structural Engineer
Entuitive

Steelwork Contractor
Gorge Fabrications Ltd

Main Contractor
Rooff Ltd

Client
London Borough of Waltham Forest

Walthamstow Wetlands is Europe’s largest urban wetlands and expects to host 250,000 visitors in its first year. As part of the project to provide the facilities necessary for opening the site to free public access, two disused infrastructure buildings, the locally listed Engine House and the Grade II listed Coppermill Tower, have been adapted for visitor use, providing an exhibition space, an education room, café, toilets and a viewing platform.

The structural works included a boardwalk entrance, new first floor and spiral escape stair in the Engine House, and a new viewing platform and staircase in the Coppermill Tower.

Judges’ Comment

The team has successfully given a nod to the former industrial heritage of the building through the use of steel in many manifestations to highlight wayfinding and new interventions throughout this sensitive conversion. The balustrading, made from simple welded plate elements, proves an effective unifying element to the balconies and external spaces.