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New Commons: An Ecological Masterplan for Canning Circus, Nottingham

Part 2 Project 2021
Jonathan Greig
RIBA Studio | UK
New Commons is founded on heightened appreciation for the value of ancient woodland soil as a catalyst for future social, cultural and environmental gains in the city. With the last remaining pockets of ancient woodland on the periphery of Nottingham threatened by HS2, this project responds to the Horticultural City brief by proposing new social-ecological relationships between the existing urban communities, translocated ancient soil and future woodland growth.

Investigations into the symbiotic processes within mycelium rich soil horizons provide the conceptual driver for an ecological masterplan, focused on the hostile Canning Circus intersection. The project speculates on opportunities for urban soil receptor sites intertwined with social-ecological placemaking and dynamic community spaces that promote connectivity and symbiotic mutual benefits, including health and wellbeing.

A series of experiential and educational interventions across the site support social forestry, education and community ownership that together provide the social infrastructure capable of sustaining long-term management and nurturing of the valuable, inaugurated woodland towards homeostasis. Community-led information networks overlaid on organic mycelium networks enable the closing of the metabolic loop and continual ecological rebalance of the site. Tectonic architecture constructed from bunter sandstone and forestry byproducts, timber and mycelium biocomposites, manifests and decomposes over five decades.

Jonathan Greig

Richard Woolf
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