The National Trust anticipated a doubling in visitor numbers to Trengwainton Gardens. A site was identified in a former orchard, enclosed on two sides by a listed brick garden wall, and by woodland to the north.
The Trust was keen to develop a contemporary design on sound environmental principles. Materials were to be from renewable sources and to have low production energy costs.
The resulting building does not require a heating system. It relies on solar gain, heat from people, cooking equipment and lighting. Overheating is controlled by the solar shades, natural cross ventilation and the stack effect of the roof shape.