Battle of Britain Visitor Centre

Uxbridge, London, UK

Battle of Britain Visitor Centre

A picturesque and sensitive landscape setting for the £6m state-of-the-art Battle of Britain Visitor and Exhibition centre in Uxbridge. The centre opened its doors on the 30th March 2018, coinciding with the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Royal Air Force.

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The Battle of Britain Bunker played a crucial role in the air defence of the United Kingdom throughout the Second World War, used as the command and control of the Battle of Britain and D Day planes. The bunker was visited by both Winston Churchill and King George VI during the war.

Hillingdon Borough Council secured £1 million government funding to restore the original listed bunker, as well £6 million to invest in the design of a new Exhibition and Visitor Centre that would tell the story of the Battle of Britain for the first time through an interactive exhibition. The new steel-framed building provides a large exhibition space split over two levels, a 95-seat auditorium, meeting rooms with views of the exhibition; a gift shop and a café with an open-air terrace overlooking the landscapes.

The building and landscape design embrace the central themes of flight and planes through the dynamic movement and angular geometry which is reflected in both the soft and hard landscaping. A large, paved arrival space offers visitors tiered and ramped access into the visitor centre, as well as a providing the Centre with a flexible space for gatherings and programmed events. A naturalistic woodland environment provides a sensitive and tranquil setting for the 18-metre deep bunker and replica RAF planes that sit proudly within the landscape.