"The city wall circuit offers huge scale and small costs, and provides a cost effective means to generate tourism, sustainable motorsport and a map of the city walls. It reminds us of the forgotten space within the old fortress."
Architect’s Journal, Competition Publication
The concept and driving force behind the forgotten space of the walls, identifies a method of responding to their importance and demise. By creating an ‘entire unit’ as the walls once were we can retrace as near as possible the line of the walls for all to see and most importantly, in its context of modernism.
The circuit aims to achieve numerous goals through a historic and sensitive integration programme. LED installations guide the cars and allow visitors to see the route. At points of interest around the wall, a contrasting colour beam is fired upon pulsing and it stays on to identify to the spectators the location of an existing section.
The competition entry stems from the founder of 33 Architecture’s passion for both design and motorsport. It gained numerous press coverage due to its inspiring concept, including a lead article in Motorsport News, the UK’s leading motorsport publication.
"A second stage proposal was awarded for our scheme far-reaching views of the Fenland landscape determine the sympathetic form of the visitor centre."
AMA, Competition Analysis
Both green and sustainable in its construction and use, the Visitor Centre forms the focal point for the Great Fen, and acts as a hub for numerous activities at the Centre and surrounding fenland.
The Holme Post, is the building's centre-point, a pivotal feature that links the new Centre with its historical past. A spiral staircase wraps around this feature, and as visitors ascend to the glazed viewing deck above, they follow a narrative sequence tracing man's influence upon the Fens from its medieval origins to the present.
Upon reaching the elevated viewing deck, visitors have unparalleled 360⁰ views of unique fenland wildlife habitats, which can be enjoyed undisturbed throughout the seasons. Sensitive landscaping around the Visitor's Centre is based around the theme of a water droplet at its centre, with undulating wet areas, peaks and hollows emanating outwards.
"A really lovely scheme. It’s such a simple design creating an effective space to live in. The construction of pre-made panels is ideal for self build and the end result costs only £57,000 per house.”
Ted Stevens, Judge & NaCSBA Chairman
While cost and simplicity of construction were important drivers behind the design, it was of paramount importance to create unique, well designed houses. Taking inspiration from contemporary European housing schemes, the proposal was to provide a type of housing scarce in the UK. The use of modular cladding materials to the elevations offered a simple to construct sequence, yet gave the residents a house unique in the UK. It was this unique design approach which created a great sense of pride within the community.
Through formulated initial designs, each resident was able to have an input into the design of their individual house. The proposal included consultations that would take place with residents and architects, enabling them to have an input on elevational treatments, layouts and materials, while the professionals would be on hand to ensure the dwelling retains the concepts of the development as a whole outwards.
“Progressing towards an active third age, as well as an ever increasing ageing population, Flexible Triangle2 seeks to provide an solution by offering an expansive range of furniture through the most simple measures.”
RIBA North East
The principle behind this flexible design is to allow familiarity, security and being able to relax. Simple triangles and squares, made from high density laminate timber panels provide longevity in performance, are simply connected into place to form a variety of shapes and forms. Lengths can vary for the seats and desks, while ‘spines’ and walls remain generic.
Depending on space available, the units allow for any configuration of any size, in any environment. Users would be able to socialise, teach, work and volunteer, even being able to be part of the installation process for the community.
The incorporated outdoor gym equipment gives another angle to the scheme by encouraging exercise to either generate energy or to simply water the plants and allotments. The result of which could be used in public open spaces, private residences and care facilities or as a regeneration tool to re-ignite our high streets and seaside towns.