• fig 1
  • fig 2
  • fig 3
  • external view
  • external view
  • external view
  • internal view
  • internal view
  • internal view
  • internal view
  • internal view
  • internal view
  • internal view
  • internal view
  • external view
  • external view
  • external view

General information

  • Location address
  • Location country
    United Kingdom
  • Year of construction
  • Name of the client/building owner
    Alnwick Garden Trust
  • Function of building
  • Degree of enclosure
    Hybrid structure
  • Climatic zone
    Temperate - cold winters and mild summers
  • Type of application of the membrane


Located on a site with and inspired by former glasshouses, Buro Happold with Hopkins Architects designed a timber barrel-vaulted structure with a diagrid roof grillage supported on timber columns.
To maintain a slender diagrid roof framework and to reduce the structural depth the column capitals were tied creating a cable truss. For this innovative structure the local Wiltshire larch, besides its lightweight and strength, was chosen for sustainable reasons. Unlike the similarity in structure for theVisitor Centre and Pavilion Café different type of foil cushions were designed for the inflated roofs. Related to the degree of thermal and acoustic insulation and the degree of transparency, needed for solar protection, the cushions were compiled differently. They reflect the various functions of the spaces underneath:
- 2-layer ETFE cushions with a 30% frit pattern for the covered external area at the Visitor Centre;
- 3-layer ETFE cushions with a 70% frit pattern for the exhibition area in the Visitor Centre;
- 3-layer PTFE/ETFE/ETFE cushions for the Pavilion Café and function roofs, and an additional layer of Microsorber ® for acoustic optimization and
- 3-layer PTFE/Superquilt/PTFE cushions for the Visitor Centre.

Additional pictures were taken during a visit in October 2016.

Description of the environmental conditions

Material of the cover

Main dimensions and form

Duration of use

  • Temporary or permanent structure

Involved companies