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Medal Winner 2021

Seeding Swanscombe Marshes

Part 1 Project 2021
Ben Foulkes
Bartlett School of Architecture (UCL) | UK
Set on an isolated windswept peninsula lies Swanscombe marshes, the site for a regenerative and resilient courthouse. The slow and steady construction of the court begins to subvert the current proposed development of a London theme-park. Before the Site can be swallowed by large-scale development, the courthouse begins to inject life and replenishment into the local ecology. Subsequently, the courthouse lives to prevent the development of the resort before returning to the ground from which it is built.

The building moves through varying stages of occupancy in line with its construction. The foundations are laid to form a bed for protest. Enclosure begins to take place and the court comes to life. Ultimately, the second life of the building, during its degradation, provides a legacy in its ambition to cultivate novel ecologies and habitats.

Wildlife begins to nest within the roof, nutrients are returned to the soil, tidal pools emerge from the architecture and once the courthouse becomes part of the landscape, it can no longer be uprooted.

The regeneration of the landscape will have a wider effect beyond the immediate Site, questioning the means of construction, authority and stewardship of the natural environment.

Ben Foulkes

Mr Chee-Kit Lai
Douglas Miller
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