Auckland Castle The Welcome Building


Larch Timber Fins


Niall McLaughlin Architects

The first stage of a multimillion-pound project to transform the former home of the Bishop of Durham has been completed. The £2.5m Welcome Centre, featuring a 95ft (29m) tower, in the centre of Bishop Auckland, has been supported by Durham County Council.

It will be the gateway to a proposed £17m museum at Auckland Castle – home to the Bishops of Durham for 800 years.

Contrasol have worked closely with both the Architects and main contractors to design and install a bespoke vertical timber fin system, in a rhomboid shape, which is adjustable to control the daylight entering the room. The fins span the width of the window bays within the main exhibition area.

Auckland Castle is approached from Bishop Auckland Market Place. The site for the Welcome Building provides a spatial connection between the carriageway of the castle complex and the Market Place itself.

The building consists of a long hall, reminiscent of a market hall, and a tower offering views out over the Castle, the town, and the parkland that flanks it.


Commercial, Fins, Timber