Hingham engineering firm picks up national building award for its part in adventure play centre

Hootz House, Pensthorpe, which has won a national award for innovation and excellence. Picture Credi

Hootz House, Pensthorpe, which has won a national award for innovation and excellence. Picture Credit: Paul Brittain - Credit: Archant

A Hingham company has picked up a national building award for its role in creating Hootz House, an iconic adventure play centre at Pensthorpe Natural Park near Fakenham.

The popular north Norfolk play barn beat off competition from around Great Britain to be named best Recreation & Leisure project of the year by the Rural and Industrial Design and Building Association.

Bespoke framework for the innovative project was constructed by Hingham-based steel-framed building specialists A C Bacon Engineering in conjunction with the primary contractor Bunting & Son.

Hootz House was one of seven category winners in the biennial awards, held to recognise innovation and excellence in the industrial and agricultural building industry.

The Cardiff awards ceremony was hosted by TV personality Kate Humble – a regular visitor to Pensthorpe as part of the Springwatch team between 2008 and 2010.

It was a highly successful night for A C Bacon who also won the RIDBA training award. The award was collected by AC Bacon Commercial Director Barry Tipple and Senior Sales Engineer Wesley Baines.

Mr Tipple said: 'Hootz House was a great project to work on – we enjoy fabricating unconventional frames.

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'As the finished building looks great and has such an unusual structure we decided to enter it in the awards. It's a credit to all parties involved – Pensthorpe Natural Park, ourselves, architect Adam Khan, structural engineers Structure Workshop and builders Bunting & Son.'

Drew Payne, commercial director at Pensthorpe said: 'We're delighted that Hootz House is being recognised for its groundbreaking design and quality build.

'We wanted to develop a truly unique environment for both children and adults that would inspire and allow them to explore and enjoy this wonderful space together.

'We are aiming to provide a quality experience in everything that we do here at Pensthorpe, so this award is a fantastic achievement to the hard-working team that made it happen and without doubt they have achieved the excellent quality we were seeking.'

The £1m Hootz House is a nature-themed indoor play area.