'Surprise View' is situated in an area of the Peak District around the border between Yorkshire and Derbyshire. It is a vast rugged ledge stitched together by rocky protrusions that collectively provide vantage points that offer astonishing views of a sweeping valley inlaid with trees, foliage and distant clusters of cottages.
Along the way from the main edge of 'Surprise View' , lies a hidden pathway to another equally if not more surprising spectacle of nature. Beyond the road that runs parallel to the bottom of Surprise View, there is a trail that winds down through the rock and shrubbery to an old gate which then leads down to another edge, only visible when one is but a few paces from the 20m or so high drop. The rock faced sides extend out to embrace a thick collection of trees, then upon looking down one is able to catch glimpse of a small secluded rock pool that clutches at the chest of the cliff face, like a gem in amongst the wilderness to be found only by those curious enough to venture out a little further into the unknown. This is the location for my Microlight Centre proposal.
Inspired by the dramatic nature of the landscape and the experience it creates upon the discovery of this site, my design attempts to embody an equal sense of drama through investigating the emotional threshold between land and air, and the consequent psychological journey visitors embark upon before and after take off. Visitors are made to feel restricted and tense as they are lead through narrowing rooms and twisting trenches, lead on by little glimpses of light before the spaces begin to open up and eventually arriving at the hanger. Light surges into the large open space intended to emphasise the enlightening experience as visitors finally take off along the runway which runs to the cliff edge revealing the beautiful view across the valley and beyond in the final moment of clarity.