Picture Gallery: Titchwell RSPB reserve scoops award for its new hide

An RSPB nature reserve in Norfolk has won a top award for its new bird watching hide.

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) announced today that RSPB Titchwell Marsh was one of eight recipients of the award in the East.

Site manager Rob Coleman said: 'Receiving this award was a wonderful surprise.

'As a nature reserve, the work we do is focused on managing habitats and making sure the birds and wildlife are thriving, but architectural splendour has never really been one of our strengths.

'We really hope this will encourage more people to come and visit the site and to experience watching our wonderful wildlife in such a unique building.'

The Parrinder Hide was designed by Cambridge architect Patrick Ward of Haysom Ward Miller Architects, and forms part of the Titchwell Marsh coastal change project.

By surrendering outlying areas to the sea, conservationists hope salt marsh will build a natural barrier, protecting rare habitats further inland.

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The RIBA award recognises recipients for their architectural excellence and the Parrinder Hide at RSPB Titchwell Marsh is an exceptional example of this.

Patrick Ward said: 'We are delighted to receive this award, and see it very much as a reward for a team effort to be shared between by the whole design, construction and client team.

'RSPB is passionate, knowledgeable and articulate about its work and together we wanted to design a new sustainable and accessible reception hide complex, which would help to attract the next generation of nature enthusiasts to the site.

'In design terms, the uniqueness of the marshland landscape required a special solution. Instead of a single building, the new complex has been fragmented into a collection of smaller structures evoking a series of wings, up-turned boats or a twist of driftwood. The fractured shapes provide a variety of viewing experiences from the close-up to spectacular panoramic views over the lagoons whilst the detailing of the landscape elements reflects the site's military archaeology as a WW11 firing range.'

The hide was built by Norfolk-based RG Carter.