From a recent article in the UK Daily Telegraph:English Heritage has unveiled its designs for a new £25-million visitor centre at Stonehenge, in Wiltshire.
It continues:The proposals for the centre at Airman's Corner, 1.5 miles west of the prehistoric stones near Amesbury in Wiltshire, and plans to close the nearby A344 have been submitted to Wiltshire Council.
The centre, designed by architectural firm Denton Corker Marshall, is ''sensitive to its surroundings and to the significance of the monument'', English Heritage said.
English Heritage's Stonehenge project director, Loraine Knowles, said: ''The new centre is designed to blend into the World Heritage landscape which visitors will pass through on their way to the stones.
''It will provide enhanced opportunities for education and interpretation, and have first-class facilities in keeping with Stonehenge's status as a world-renowned tourist attraction.''
This is an English Heritage photo of an artist's impression of the Denton Corker Marshall Design. Personally, I like it.Exhibitions, a cafe, shop and toilets will be housed in a pair of single-storey areas - one glass, the other timber-enclosed - sitting beneath an undulating roof.
This is good news, if it gets the go ahead, because it's a dismal site, for visitors, at the present time - essentially, a car park by one of the busiest roads in southern England. This is at least attempt a step in the right direction. I live not that far away, go by there frequently, and it's an embarassment to see how little care and attention has been put into the presentation of this hugely important site, and many's the time I've almost run over a tourist clinging to the bank on the side of the road, trying to take a photo.
This will make the site generally a bit better, but the worst thing about Stonehenge is it's being located on such a busy road, and the proposal to move the road into a tunnel (cost c. £500 million) has not been revived. It was dropped some years ago on the grounds of cost, and that was back when we had money, so no chance of that ever happening now. Great shame, because the best visitor centre in the world will never cure the problem of being stuck by that road.
Anyway, a small piece of good news, nonetheless.
Here's a link to the entire article.http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/trave ... entre.html