To enhance the visit to the archaeological site, a glass entrance of great value

A forest of trees in tune with the Wiltshire landscape welcomes visitors to Stonehenge. To rationalize the access to the archaeological area and to enrich the visit with new content an entrance has been created with the aim of restoring the natural image of the place. The designers (Denton Corker Marshall) have come up with a gateway that does not invade the already inimitable setting. A light structure with slender steel columns to support a slightly sloping, softly curved roof. The spaces inside have different functions: a display area clad in wood, an airy, spacious refreshment zone, and a completely transparent educational zone. The idea behind the glass pavilion design is to connect the inside of the building to the evocative surrounding landscape. The designers wanted the interiors to be visible from the outside, to encourage people to enter, while offering great natural lighting and a view of the landscape from inside the structure. So glass was a fundamental part of the project. As the designers explain, the glass also presented a challenge, because reaching a height of 4.3 meters meant finding material strong enough to stand up to the high winds that reach the site. At the same time, the glass had to comply with high standards of energy performance and low emissions, while being as transparent as possible to enhance the indoor-outdoor relationship. The solution was Pilkington Planar™ Intrafix, the system of structural glass that permits attachment with hidden tabs, leaving the surface uniform from floor to ceiling. Since the pavilion is completely transparent on all four sides, the other important goals of the project were to maximize access to natural light while reducing energy dispersion to a minimum. This has been achieved through the use of the chamber glass of two products, Pilkington Optiwhite™ and Pilkington K Glass™ OW.