The new Gateway Building forms the central part of the Paultons Park phased masterplan for the 64-acre park as developed by HPW. The landmark structure will welcome the 1 million guests who visit the attraction every year.

As well as housing the entrance ticket kiosks and turnstiles, the Gateway Building is home to The Big Toy Shop which consists of 10,000ft2 of colourful and inviting retail space, and Wild Forest, the largest restaurant on the park with a comprehensive menu offering traditional family meals and local seasonal dishes.

View The Big Toy Shop case study

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View the Wild Forest restaurant case study

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View the Wild Forest restaurant case study

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View The Big Toy Shop case study

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View The Big Toy Shop case study

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"The new Gateway Building was completed in little over six months..."

From start to finish, including the removal of existing structures for recycling and re-use; construction; and fit-out, the new Gateway Building was completed in little over six months.

Working closely with the New Forest National Park Authority, HPW secured planning for a number of buildings, infrastructure and refurbishment of existing buildings in 2008. Since then a rolling programme of new buildings and improvement to customer facilities has been completed outside of the vital spring and summer trading periods. As well as the new Gateway building, this includes the internationally renowned Peppa Pig World and its award-winning central building, which opened in 2011.

Whole-life operational cost and sustainable solutions were assessed and integrated throughout the design process of this double wave, ribbon truss, hybrid timber and steel structure. Dynamic thermal modelling was used to inform the design process and ensure optimum performance, particularly super insulation of the building shell, natural ventilation and illumination strategies.

The 2m x 19m curved spans were scientifically calculated for optimum environmental control and performance. This creates a light, airy and welcoming interior and a fresh and comfortable atmosphere for the customer - a key element of the design brief.

A high level curved glass canopy highlights the entrance and provides additional shelter for the customer and turnstiles.

Other attributes of the building include:

  • 17 wind catchers as part of a natural ventilation strategy
  • Underfloor heating with facility to cool
  • LED lighting throughout the building
  • A super-insulated building shell to reduce energy use
  • Natural illumination via skylights and clerestory windows
  • Use of light tubes in deep span spaces
  • Douglas fir cladding that had been forested and prepared seven miles from site
  • SUDS and water collection in the adjacent lake
  • 456 solar PV panels on adjacent buildings providing 7% of the park's electrical needs.


Working with the client’s construction team, HPW specified all aspects of the build including the highly detailed interior and bespoke signage, which ensured a holistic and integrated solution. Wherever feasible, building materials and the construction team were locally sourced and an extensive effort made to minimise waste throughout the delivery process. This included specifying UK manufactured skylights, wind catchers, light tubes and other specialist components.

All water goods were designed into the building’s structure with downpipes formed within the main structural circular galvanised columns allowing for a clean and uninterrupted line to the building facades and eaves.

The central purpose of the Gateway building is to welcome and guide guests into the park. After collecting tickets at the purpose-designed kiosk or presenting e-tickets at the turnstiles, visitors pass the entrances to the shop and restaurant. On exiting, other than at particularly busy times, all visitors are routed through the shop to ensure maximum opportunity for secondary spend.

At the exit itself a secure glazed lobby has been designed prevent visitors entering without paying and minimise theft from the shop. This glass corridor and automated barrier is an essential and highly functional security feature.

Within the Gateway Building are two of the park’s central offers both of which boast state-of-the-art facilities.

View the full Gateway Building case study...
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