Architecture undergrad Heather Schneider recognized in RIBA competition | The Penn State Stuckeman School Skip to main content

Architecture undergrad Heather Schneider recognized in RIBA competition

Penn State architecture undergraduate student Heather Schneider has been recognized by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) for her submission to the Langley Vale Wood, UK, visitor center design competition.

Langley Vale Wood is a 640 acre site in Surrey, England, on the edge of the M25 highway. The site, which features 140 acres of existing ancient woodland, is under the stewardship of UK conservation charity the Woodland Trust, which hopes to make the site a visitor destination to commemorate the First World War, as well as providing a newly planted woodland alongside green spaces for wildlife and people.

The Woodland Trust worked with RIBA to launch a competition calling for designs for a new Visitor Hub to facilitate visitors on site at Langley Vale Wood supporting 180,000 visits per annum. According to the competiton materials, "The site has been identified as England’s First World War Centenary Wood for the WT’s First World War Centenary Woods project. The intention of the project is to protect and manage the existing woodland and create new native broadleaf woodland on the site. The area provides a living tribute to those affected by the First World War and will encourage people to get outdoors and enjoy the natural world."

The competition, which was open to professionals and students in architecture and landscape architecture, called for designs, "that can bring innovative and imaginative thinking to the Visitor Hub. Providing amenities for visitors and creating a welcoming and exciting connection to the woodland, the circa 300sqm hub will allow visitors to dwell on site and raise the profile of Langley Vale Wood as a destination for local residents, day visitors and volunteers."

Schneider's project was posted to the RIBA Competitions Instagram page, and has received substantial traction – and 'likes' – on social media. Schneider, a rising third-year B.Arch student, also won the Penn State Department of Architecture's 2015 Corbelletti Design Charette. Speaking about the Langley Vale Wood competition, she said, "Peter Aeschbacher was my mentor for the project, so he definitely deserves a lot of credit." 

Visit the Woodland Trust Langley Vale Wood webpage:

For more information about the competition, visit the RIBA Competitions website:

Design project featuring colorful, painterly concept of visitors center plus project design images and descriptive text
Colorful, painterly concept of visitors center