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RSPB Newport Wetland Centre

Project Details

Macgregor Smith were involved in the development of a masterplan for this environmental education centre for the RSPB, which was built to provide access to the wetlands nature reserve established as mitigation for the loss of mudflats in Cardiff Bay.  The design required careful consideration due to the sensitive context of the SSSI and SAC landscape and the response encouraged an understanding of the breath taking ‘wilderness’ of coastal wetlands.  Elements of the masterplan are inspired by the juxtaposition between the industrial fringe of Newport and the semi-natural estuarine landscape of the Gwent levels and Severn Estuary.

Winner: RICS Community Benefit Award, 2009

Design Details

  • The visitor centre and surrounding public realm create a strong sense of place and identity through the use of natural, sustainable materials, bedding the building into the landscape
  • The building is approached via a ramped timber boardwalk leading to an external gathering area with views overlooking the Severn Estuary
  • External education ‘pods’ area integrated into meadow grassland, wet grassland and reed bed habitats
  • Ridge and furrow earthworks and scrapes create habitat for wading birds that can be viewed from the visitor centre

Newport, South Wales


Countryside Council for Wales / RSPB


Powell Dobson


Martin Stockley Associates / White Young Green / John Campion Associates

Project Value:



RSPB / Macgregor Smith