Hootz House was one of seven category winners in the biennial awards, held to recognise innovation and excellence in the industrial and agricultural building industry.
The Cardiff awards ceremony was hosted by TV personality Kate Humble – a regular visitor to Pensthorpe as part of the Springwatch team between 2008 and 2010.
The award was collected by AC Bacon Commercial Director Barry Tipple and Senior Sales Engineer Wesley Baines.
“Hootz House was a great project to work on – we enjoy fabricating unconventional frames,” said Mr Tipple.
“As the finished building looks great and has such an unusual structure we decided to enter it in the awards. It’s a credit to all parties involved – Pensthorpe Natural Park, ourselves, architect Adam Khan, structural engineers Structure Workshop and builders Bunting & Son.
Picture Credit : Paul Brittain
Drew Payne, Commercial Director at Pensthorpe said: “We’re delighted that Hootz House is being recognised for its groundbreaking design and quality build. We wanted to develop a truly unique environment for both children and adults that would inspire and allow them to explore and enjoy this wonderful space together.
“We are aiming to provide a quality experience in everything that we do here at Pensthorpe, so this award is a fantastic achievement to the hard-working team that made it happen and without doubt they have achieved the excellent quality we were seeking.”
The £1m Hootz House is a nature-themed indoor play area, designed to inspire and engage the next generation of nature lovers and conservationists, teaching them to care for the environment.
Picture credit: Paul Brittain
Built from sustainably-sourced timber, the cladding of Hootz House is perforated with holes to create a habitat for bird and insect life.
RIDBA judges praised Hootz House for its excellent attention to detail and dedicated craftsmanship within its rural wildlife centre setting.
They highlighted its abundant environmental qualities, including excellent daylight, natural ventilation, controlled sunlight and high thermal insulation. The judges also noted the use of rainwater to help water the surrounding plants.
Hootz House offers visitors of all ages a rich, sensory connection to the environment and landscape. It’s a 300 square metre wild world, inviting imaginative play, with mysterious tunnels to explore, rope bridges to cross, tree towers to climb and winding slides to descend back to ground level.
Everything has been designed so that parents and grandparents can join in the fun, making it a memorable fun family experience. There is an array of soft play equipment for toddlers and under 5s.
“Hootz House is also a great venue for children’s birthday parties and there’s even been some corporate team building sessions held here, as part of a private hire package we offer,” said Drew Payne.
Hootz House is part of a bigger masterplan to further extend the families offering at Pensthorpe, home to the Pensthorpe Conservation Trust and winner of the Best Large Attraction in the EDP Tourism Awards in 2014 and 2015.
Picture credit: Paul Brittain