The post-graduate students went on a trip to Bristol to view the four sites they can choose for their Landscape Design Studio module. Lecturer Robin Snowdon led the group from Bristol Temple Meads station, along the floating harbour to the first of the four sites, Castle Park. In the heart of the city many feel that this area fails to live up to its potential as a resource for the community and visitors to the city.
Continuing to follow the water the group came to the Three Wharves site close to St May Redcliffe. Whilst Robin was explaining to the students about the natural red cliff rock face here and the fact that it was mined the group were invited inside by local cavers who were on site surveying the main chambers. They explained that the caves are being used regularly as a TV/film set for programmes such as Doctor Who and Poldark. Hopefully this opportunity may have inspired some students to look at the caves as a potential asset within their work.
After a break for lunch in the main harbourside area the next site, Baltic wharf, was visited. A mix of traditional industries, marinas and 1980’s housing estate, this site again offers a range of challenges to any designer hoping to fulfil its otherwise unrealised potential.
Finally the group finished their tour at the Cumberland Basin. Key to the floating harbour and the success of Bristol as a port, this gateway site is dominated by the swing bridge and associated road system.
The fact that some of the land floods during extreme tidal events and that there are few attractions to draw visitors are just the starting points for any students looking to take on this design project. Having completed their tour the group then returned to the city centre aboard the harbour ferry getting a different perspective of the city. We look forward to seeing what creative solutions for these sites are produced later in the year.
(Many thanks to Paul Golding for the photographs)