Summit Visitor Centre, Snowdon

At 1085m this unique visitor centre is the highest building in the UK and responds to one of the most extreme climatic locations in the world. To optimise the volume and energy requirement the building has been carefully sculpted, using natural stone from the area to withstand the harsh weather, but also to reduce both its visual and wind signature. The centre opened to the public in Spring 2009.

Hardscape were chosen by Carillion PLC to supply stone for the project. The design for the café floor incorporated plaques that told the history, topography, meteorology, flora and fauna of the mountain. Aquacut were asked by Hardscape to devise a way of setting slate images and text into granite paving. Sample panels were made for approval by designer, Furneaux Stewart and the National Park Authority.

Once approved 2,000 letters and 40 images were cut, some with etched detail added. The smallest slate characters being 15mm high were bonded then grouted into the granite background. Every component was then individually aligned and bonded into 48 plaques.