Cronton Colliery RIBA Design Competition

Existing site

Existing site

Proposed plan sketch

Proposed sketch

Judges comments:

Oval Partnership & BCAL with WYG Planning & Design & BCA – *Top 10 shortlist*
“A series of delightful ideas and uses, beautifully presented – in which the footprint of the former colliery is re-imagined through new landscapes and planting to create a sensory, energy generating, interpretive garden.”

Our approach aims to continue the low-input naturalistic ecological restoration of the site. The existing wide flat artificial landscape plateau’s will be retained along with the existing woodland groups that contain the distant views. Previous site restoration is already successfully adding to a unique palette of ephemeral colouring throughout the year. This palette will be used as the base for new native tree, grass, wetland and wildflower planting. This will be an adaptable, site responsive and cost-effective phased program.

Within the context of this adaptable landscape restoration program, more ornamental planting interventions will be incorporated into the ghosted footprints of the former colliery buildings. These gardens will be subtely raised and sunk to create useable spaces linking the proposed site’s uses with the raw materials. Barley, hops and a community orchard will take their place amongst the wild setting. [These areas will need any contaminated soil capped off and topsoil imported.]

The proposed sustainable, low cost interventions, the existing landscape and the architectural interventions will coalesce into an experiential narrative that takes the user on a journey around the site.


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