Modus Architects’ are the winner of a competition commissioned by Manx National Heritage to design a new entrance centre for the Laxey Wheel. Modus were selected from a shortlist of five leading Isle of Man architectural practices to design a new build project which will provide new entrance and staff facilities, as well as public amenities for the historic site of the Great Laxey Wheel, also known as Lady Isabella.
"The design challenge was to accommodate much needed new facilities while making the new building as discreet as possible and accentuating the site's most interesting landscape and heritage features," said Modus director and architect Jeremy Humphries. "Our concept reflects a contemporary approach to integrating a new structure into a sensitive location, where the top priorities are to highlight historic architecture and landscape heritage."
The scheme will accommodate public arrival and gathering spaces accessible from the existing car park, with restrooms and staff facilities are tucked away towards the rear of the site.
The centre will serve as a gateway to the historic Laxey site, and will be used as a welcome centre with educational and interpretive information, as well as providing a point from which visitors can orientate themselves to explore the site and surrounding area.
Informed by the site’s prominent location at the entrance the Laxey Wheel, Modus have produced a multifaceted design that seeks to address a wide range of influences from the history of the area and the present day condition of Laxey Village. The new building’s layout has been conceived to create dramatic vantage points for viewing the Great Laxey Wheel, which are fully accessible to all visitors regardless of mobility.
Modus Architects’ design team is led by Jeremy Humphries. The project is being developed in collaboration with Manx National Heritage.