Commercial - 2005
LONDON WETLAND CENTRE BAT HOUSE
These bat lands were conceived using analysis of the ground plane to create a delicate and sustainable merger between land and sky / people and bats.
The formations are shaped by echoing the existing landscape contours; transforming the contour lines into three dimensional structures. Not only do these forms structure an elevated habitat for the bats, but the whole configuration creates an architectural shade canopy for visitors.
Three types of structures are positioned within the landscape. Each structure is fabricated by means of repetitive parts producing a modular system that can without difficulty be replicated elsewhere. The supporting structure is made up of curved laminated wood beams that rest upon simple concrete pile foundations, minimizing excavation, tree removal and impact on the ecology of the lagoon.
Inserted into each support structure is a bat house. A total of ten are combined here: Six small upwardly facing, three mid-size oriented horizontal and one large upward and horizontal. Each house is constructed of lined or unlined wooden stats formed and spaced to optimize the needs of the target species. The bat houses are slot in into the cantilevered beam structures and bolted in place. Each house can be removed individually for repair or replacement. This strategy allows future modification in size, entry, shape, etc. Thus, in time, the houses will become fine-tuned to the varying needs of the local bat populations.
The location of the houses, raised high in the sky, make a dramatic landscape all while minimizing disturbance, thereby creating a more sustainable roosting habitat. Below each bat house is a graphic display element that is accessed via a path beneath the covering made by the bat house structures. As you ascend the embankment contained by the canopy, you can learn the about the habitat of the bats via information panels and diorama. Visitors may observe the bats while hidden from a distance and close-up via webcams installed in each of the bat houses.