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Reclaiming the Ruin

Part 1 Project 2021
Rachel Caul
University of Cambridge | UK
In 2019 the UK declared an environment and climate emergency and an amended target of net zero emissions by 2050. As gas reserves dwindle and we pursue more renewable sources of energy, Bacton Gas Terminal will be progressively decommissioned. Reclaiming the Ruin proposes possible futures for Bacton and other post-fossil fuel sites. How could those who have profited from generations of extraction remediate the land to create rich and productive places?

In the short and long-term the project explores a ‘worked example’ of how Bacton could be repurposed as a vineyard. The proposals consist of a supporting infrastructure accommodating positive new uses for the site as it evolves and the ground rehabilitates. Differing levels of residual toxicity determine a varied phytoremediation process. A new landscape infrastructure isolates healthier plots, creating sheltered microclimates for young vines to thrive. An architecture of stable stone walls and large timber spans emerges – a culmination of themes of reuse, growth and spatial diversity. Construction uses Norfolk flint, timber from thinning Bacton Wood, existing foundations and reclaimed materials from gas exploitation.

Ultimately, the site is returned harmlessly to nature, contributing to coastal protection, becoming a habitat for wildlife and a fundamental part of the local ecosystem.

Rachel Caul

Rod Heyes
Prisca Thielmann
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