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Architecture Society

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︎Studio 2, Year 3

Rachel Caul

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Reclaiming the Ruin

 My project proposes reclaiming the site of a decommissioned gas terminal from fossil fuel use through a process of decontamination and phytoremediation, and a new landscape infrastructure of flint walls. In the shorter term, the project explores the opportunity of transforming part of Bacton Gas Terminal into a sequence of vineyards with a supporting winery. The landscape strategy both rehabilitates the land and takes advantage of the suitable ground conditions for growing grapes, using the thermal mass of stone walls to create sheltered microclimates in the landscape. The proposal is ecological in its construction, using natural, local, and recycled material from the site including Norfolk flint and reclaimed red brick from disused terminal structures. The importation of wine has already been negatively affected by Brexit and the Coronavirus pandemic. This provides an opportunity for society to refocus on providing the same produce locally, with as small a carbon footprint as possible. In the long term, this infrastructure might be adapted in new ways that engage productively with the community of Bacton and address global issues such as climate change, shifting ecological demands, and the resultant threat of coastal erosion. Decreasing food resilience due to an over-reliance on imported goods poses the threat of a future global food crisis, so re-establishing agricultural land and its supporting industries is vital. In the future, if the grapes are eradicated by pest or climate, the rehabilitated ground offers a realm of new possibilities for the site at Bacton. Ultimately, it is the responsibility of fossil fuel exploiters to leave behind an unscarred landscape that has been successfully rehabilitated and can be adapted for a range of agricultural uses. Looking beyond the lifetime of the building, it turns back to the ground as a habitat for wildlife, additional coastal protection, and a fundamental part of the local ecosystem.

Year 1