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Belvedere

Softroom Architects, 1999

Belvedere was Kielder's first architectural commission and won the Stephen Lawrence Prize in 2000 as well as RIBA and Civic Trust awards.

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Kielder Belvedere was Kielder's first architectural commission. The shelter has been constructed from stainless steel that reflects the natural environment, causing the shelter to change its appearance in different weather conditions, at different times of the day, and as the seasons change.

Winner of the Stephen Lawrence Prize in 2000 as well as RIBA and Civic Trust awards, this unusual shelter is open to visitors at all times of the year.

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The nearest public parking is at Hawkhope Car Park on the north side of the dam and sign-posted from the C200.

From the carpark, follow the Lakeside Way east along the north shore of Kielder Water. The Belvedere is sited down a short spur at Benny Shank approximately 3.75 miles along the track. Walking time around one hour 40 minutes.

There is also a jetty at Benny Shank where visitors can moor boats or disembark from the ferry. 

A good way to explore all the artworks along the Lakeside Way is by cycle. Bikes should be to at least hybrid cycle grade with decent country tyres for the changing terrain of Kielder Water & Forest Park.

OS map ref. NY683884

Kielder Belvedere was Kielder's first architectural commission. The shelter has been constructed from stainless steel that reflects the natural environment, causing the shelter to change its appearance in different weather conditions, at different times of the day, and as the seasons change.

Externally the structure is triangular and feels slightly ambiguous as you walk around it. The main external features are the curved panels and panoramic window on side that faces the lake, giving the building the feel of a loudspeaker, or an unlikely bird hide. Internally a circular room references the distant Skyspace, and the purpose of the long window becomes clear.

When a visitor sits down and looks through the window, the upper and lower parts of the view are obscured and the landscape is presented as a series of horizontal bands - water, forest, and sky - reminding us that Kielder's topography is not expressed vertically like the Lake District, but essentially an  elevated rolling upland that seems to go on for ever.

Winner of the Stephen Lawrence Prize in 2000 as well as RIBA and Civic Trust awards, this unusual shelter is open to visitors at all times of the year.

Belvedere lies on the Lakeside Way between Robin's Hut, 1 mile to the west towards Kielder village, and 55/02, 1 mile to the east towards Hawkhope car park.