Margam Project

Brechfa mountain biking centre

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Brechfa, (Welsh for “mottled place”) hidden in the Cothi valley north east of Carmarthen, has been described as one of the most secluded villages in South Wales. It has existed since the 6th century and has a long and fascinating history.

Under trees in the surrounding forest, a magical dappled or mottled light is experienced as the sun filters through the canopy of leaves. Patches of light dance about the forest floor and over trees trunks as the branches sway in the wind; the patterns constantly changing throughout the day and with the seasons.

Siting the building amongst the trees allows visitors to experience the magic of the forest; walking out under the tree canopy and watching the mottled light fall across the surfaces of the building. The centre is accessed from the car parking area and track that leads to the cycle routes. It is under the tree canopy on a raised deck above the forest floor which slopes down away from the entry point. Adjacent to the level entry from the carpark is a bike wash facility and toilets for men and women as well as an accessible ‘Part M compliant’ disabled toilet. The cafe protrudes out into the trees and can open out onto an external decked area. A small kitchen serves the cafe. The deck ends in a viewing platform where visitors can look out through the trees.

Client : Forestry Commission Wales, Carmarthenshire CC
Value : £400k
Programme: 2010-

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Design Research Unit w
Bute Building
King Edward VII Ave
Tel: 02920 874430
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