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Pensthorpe’s indoor adventure world wins national building award

Pensthorpe Natural Park Hootz House 40

Published at 9:20am 12th April 2017.

Hootz House, Pensthorpe Natural Park’s iconic adventure play centre has won a national building award.

The popular Fakenham play barn beat off competition from around Great Britain to be named best Recreation & Leisure project of the year by the Rural and Industrial Design and Building Association.

Bespoke framework for the innovative project was constructed by Hingham-based steel-framed building specialists A C Bacon Engineering in conjunction with the primary contractor Bunting & Son of Fakenham.

Hootz House was one of seven category winners in the biennial awards, held to recognise innovation and excellence in the industrial and agricultural building industry.

The Cardiff awards ceremony was hosted by TV personality Kate Humble – a regular visitor to Pensthorpe as part of the Springwatch team between 2008 and 2010.

The award was collected by AC Bacon Commercial Director Barry Tipple and Senior Sales Engineer Wesley Baines.

Drew Payne, Commercial Director at Pensthorpe said:

“We’re delighted that Hootz House is being recognised for its groundbreaking design and quality build. We wanted to develop a truly unique environment for both children and adults that would inspire and allow them to explore and enjoy this wonderful space together.

We are aiming to provide a quality experience in everything that we do here at Pensthorpe, so this award is a fantastic achievement to the hard-working team that made it happen and without doubt they have achieved the excellent quality we were seeking.”

The £1m Hootz House is a nature-themed indoor play area, designed to inspire and engage the next generation of nature lovers and conservationists, teaching them to care for the environment.

Built from sustainably-sourced timber, the cladding of Hootz House is perforated with holes to create a habitat for bird and insect life.

RIDBA judges praised Hootz House for its excellent attention to detail and dedicated craftsmanship within its rural wildlife centre setting.

They highlighted its abundant environmental qualities, including excellent daylight, natural ventilation, controlled sunlight and high thermal insulation. The judges also noted the use of rainwater to help water the surrounding plants.

Hootz House is part of a bigger masterplan to further extend the families offering at Pensthorpe, home to the Pensthorpe Conservation Trust and winner of the Best Large Attraction in the Norfolk Tourism Awards in 2014 and 2015.