Donald Insall Associates worked alongside Communities First volunteers to develop a brief for this ambitious venture set within Llechwedd Quarry. The resulting Mountain Bike Centre supports the world-class mountain biking tracks and adventure centre at Blaenau Ffestiniog, with the purpose of holding international competitions as well as recreational use. The complex includes a cafe, shop, workshop, washrooms, showers, roof terrace, and events spaces. New cycle tracks now encourage bikers to cycle between the new building and into town.
The building is inspired by its industrial setting and built entirely on a consolidated slate waste tip, maximising the use of on-site waste materials through the use of local materials and local suppliers, contractors and consultants. The prime consideration for the design of the building was to minimise its impact on the surroundings, provide creative reuse of the site and enhance the local character. Slate waste from the nearby slate waste heap was reclaimed for the wall cladding, substructure and landscaping; moreover, all excavated materials are redistributed to create the cycle tracks.
This BREEAM Excellent rated building inspired social and economic improvement to this previously moribund slate capital.