CATHERINE LAIDLAW landscape architecture portfolio
Books, like landscapes, leave their mark on us. - Robert MacFarlane
Castle Park, Bristol
Cinderford, Forest of Dean
St James Square, Cheltenham
Lightmoor Colliery, Forest of Dean
common ground Castle Park | Bristol
AN URBAN COMMON FIT FOR A RESILIENT CITY THAT EMBRACES COMMUNITY, DIVERSITY AND CREATIVITY. LOST HERITAGE IS RESURFACED AND COMBINED WITH ECOLOGICAL SOLUTIONS TO CREATE A VIBRANT AND CONTEMPORARY URBAN CIVIC GREEN SPACE IN THE HEART OF THE CITY. The design proposals for Bristol’s largest inner city green space address issues around accessibility and legibility to create a high quality, safe and beautiful park for all of Bristol’s residents, businesses and visitors. Public and digital realms work together to create new participatory spaces to improve quality of life, bring people together, provide healthy lifestyle options, and recreational opportunities.
Bristol currently ha Shopping Quarter, t Parade. The Bristol C city centre. There is t separate “centres”, a enhance the existing
Cli�on Suspension Bridge Cli�on Downs
Royal West of England Art Gallery
The diagram opposi and activities in Brist Many of the major side of the city. Ca Bristol’s vibrant and neighbourhoods suc to the city centre.
City Museum & Art Gallery University of Bristol
St. Nicholas’ Market
The Centre Central Library
SS Great Britain
@Bristol & Harbourside Aquarium Arnolﬁni
Tourist Att Approxima
M Shed Spike Island
Approxima Figure 13 Connections and adjacencies
An initial feasibility study for Castle Park identified the key opportunities and restraints of the site. Although well used and well located in the centre of Bristol, some of the main issues included lack of visual amenity, deterioration of heritage assets, and poor permeability and relationship with the surrounding urban grain.
*Bristol Arena due for completion 2019
The planning strategy included connecting spaces and activities in Castle Park at street level, but also bringing back into use the medieval vaults below ground, as well as creating productive, contemporary green roof spaces.
CASTLE PARK Feasibility Study Gateway/entrance issues Heritage assets requiring consideration and response Buildings with low visual amenity Permeability issues around retaining wall Levels along Broad Weir prevent connection to Castle Park Response needed to modern earthworks and level changes in park Lack of interaction with the Floating Harbour Lack of legibility and connection with Old City urban grain Edge and frontage issues Key pedestrian and cycle through routes Key views to retain and enhance Permeability issues to and from wider area
Legibility issues through park Vehicular domination
2 Castle Park | Bristol
Figure 10. Summary of site issues
Mixed play areas
el rav et �v
ac y& Pla gs en rin rd oo ga M ed
Courtyard/ public gardens
Amphitheatre/ ﬂexible open green space
ng Bristol’s green heart.
cological revolutions to create a vibrant and contemporary common fit for a resilient city that embraces community,
across Bristol are site aims to build e of spaces which combine heritage
BR OA D
G IN AT O FL
VIN ES TR
R OU RB HA
Vaulted rs e chamb
Hig h cel Stree ars t
Pe ter Va s Chu ult rc s h
e city's ability to ate safe spaces for osters mental and e access to cultural
More than just unities to provide nship and peer-tohat the commons has an increasing
Figure 2 showing strate connections between sp across the site, including and modern green roofs. Castle Park | Bristol
The brief for Castle Park called for the inclusion of a multi-faith centre. The masterplan reinstates the medieval Castle Green, which is currently lacking any heritage references or legibility, and places the centre within this historically significant space. Castle Green Contemplation Centre (above) uses light in various forms as a universal concept to
4 Castle Park | Bristol
create a space for landscape and contemplation to combine to nurture humanityâ€™s highest aspirations. The proposals create a flexible space suitable for religious and secular uses, allowing for the changing nature and diversity of religious and spiritual activities in contemporary life.
Key community green spaces
. Land use
Mixed use - retail/workshops street level, residential/flexible units upper
Private (including roof gardens)
Key community green spaces
n from the e illustrating between typologies
Communal spaces Private (including roof gardens)
Design & Access Statement PARK 3.8 Materiality The materiality of the site, both hard and soft, will be vital for creating a whole site identity and a sense of place, while also allowing for a range of spaces and smaller character areas within the park. Connecting with Bristol's Legible City initiative, through sharing wayfinding and the visual language and colours used elsewhere in the city, will also help integrate Castle Park as one of the key locations in the city.
Wayfinding should utilising the wider city legibility initiative (above, Figure 28), while also giving the site its own materiality and identity. For example, Pitt Street Mall in Sydney (above right, Figure 29) combines contemporary paving and with traditional kerbstone materials, as well as using drainage channels as interpretation and expression of historic features.
Above (Figure 30): a recently laid section of path along Back Bridge Street could be expanded elsewhere in the park, as the setts give the impression of Old City cobble stones, but provide a smooth, practical surfacing for cyclists.
Figure 31 and 32: modern sustainable timber construction methods could be used on the site to merge historic and contemporary styles to create low energy, sustainable spaces.
The design proposals include:
Design & Access Statement PARK
- Limiting waste during construction. Utilising materials from any building demolition such as the Norwich Union building, elsewhere on site. For example as hardcore, or using materials in innovative re-use design solutions. - Incorporating renewable energy sources. For example solar panels combined with green roofs, and using new SolaRoad technology in sections of pathway. -Using low energy and/or local building and construction materials and methods. - Utilising any suitable existing trees that are removed in interior or exterior building materials, and/or using trunks, branches etc.. for habitat creation. - Taking advantage of the site's mostly south-facing aspect to maximise solar gain in any building design.
Figure 37. SolaRoad, Amsterdam.
Fig 33 and 34. Using lighting to improve safety and contribute to a sense of place.
CASTLE PARK Design & Access Statement
Figure 35 and 36. Repeated designed plant communities used across the park, for example in SuDS and riparian areas to create a soft landscape identity related to biodiversity and local landscape typologies.
Castle Park | Bristol
[collaborative housing project] Cinderford | Forest of Dean DESIGN CODE
4.1software, Scalealong andwith density GIS applying relevant planning policy, was of used inform a The dwelling density the to whole 39 hectare site is based on an landscape strategy for the Forest of Dean average of approximately 30 dwellings per hectare. The cohousing district. A design code was subsequently model allows useallocations of land meaning development areas developed for for onean of effi thecient housing Cinderford areguide of a higher densitytowards (approximately 40-60 dwellings per hectare to development reinforcing landscape character and toand ensure but balanced with communal shareditfacilities andColeford large areas of created high quality, liveable and sustainable green space and green infrastructure. For example, it is envisaged neighbourhoods. the Older Persons cohousing development areas will be smaller units within two-storey that are more towards the 60 dwellings A housing typology buildings focusing on collaborative building models wasbut chosen, in particularly per hectare figure, border the large community green space to cohousing and self-build, with a strong the east. emphasis on creating community and Lydney protecting and enhancing the natural Dwellings will be a maximum of two storeys to reflect the heights of environment. the surrounding existing settlements and also to preserve views and
Existing Flood zone 3 dwellings an Flood zone 2 roads
key sight lines towards the River Severn from Littledean Hill Road.
Fig.19 Land use proportions
Fig.20 Indicative scale and density section
0 1 2
6 Cinderford | Forest of Dean
Terrraced Cohousing Tertiary Route (Mews)
Grassland Grassland 0-6m Communal or private garden
0-2m Parking (unloading only)
6m Carriageway Shared use (Homezone)
0-6m Communal or private garden
Older Persons Cohousing
Cinderford | Forest of Dean
Street art encouraged. Creates a vibrant and non-static youth quarter.
8 St James Square | Cheltenham
Multi-functional spaces and surfaces
Natural and sustainable materials
The St. James site is currently a large, unattractive car park adjacent to Cheltenham city centre. The brief asked for the creation of a youth quarter, comprising a youth centre, youth hostel, and workshop spaces for training and start-up businesses. The design proposals included addressing flood risk, creating a green corridor along the River Chelt, providing opportunities for natural play, and the creation of event spaces.
Small-scale urban food growing comprising orchard and raised beds
St James Square | Cheltenham
The design proposal aims to create a whole site identity while also creating distinct areas of activity and creativity. The youth hostel building forms a gateway from Jessop Avenue. The frontage onto Jessop Avenue will include a green wall to act as a waymarker when approaching from the north. From a pedestrianised, boulevard area the space immediately below the youth centre will provide a smaller event space. A larger park area below this acts as a flexible, robust space - providing places to say and sit on a lunch break, or for music performances and markets. This reflects the former pleasure gardens that used to be on the site.
The green roofs of both the youth hostel and youth centre integrate into a network of SuDS. Features include stylised but functional water meadows, reflecting a natural habitat of the Cotswolds. The meadows also act as detention basins in the event of serious flooding, as well as providing better visual amenity in this area. An improved path to reduce conflict between leisure users and utilitarian cyclists heads westwards through an enhanced green corridor.
The design proposal draws on the positivity and beautythatcanarisefromchaoticsystems.Reflecting theoftenchaoticnatureandperiodofyoungpeople’s lives, the design incorporates elements to make the most of this. Reassurance is provided in the chaotic nature of the natural systems surrounding them. Planting beds containing self-seeders to create autonomous but beautiful areas reminiscent of graffiti, while new attractive SuDS features provide a positive responsive to erratic weather patterns and flood risks. As well as providing flexible, nonprescribed spaces, creativity in all its forms is given space and encouraged. With sustainability running throughout visitors and users of the site can be a part of the butterfly effect of chaos theory - that small actions can have big effects.
To the east of the youth centre, regenerated warehouse buildings provide an interesting and lively area of smaller spaces. St Georges Mews is reopened providing alternative access to the site as well as being a pocket park, serving as a place to stay and support independent, artisan start-up businesses.
THE HIVE, WORCESTER • • •
Landform basins containing rich local water meadow species. Provides visual amenity, SuDS and habitat creation. Habitat islet extends from children’s library to extend informal learning outdoors.
LANDSCHAFTSPARK, DUISBURG-NORD • • •
180 hectare park on disused iron works. Incorporates industrial features and heritage into new recreation areas and parkland, instead of rejecting them. Park divided into different areas, but walkways and waterways knit the site together.
TÅSINGE PLADS, COPENHAGEN • • •
(Jessop’s Nursery Garden) until mostly destroyed by flooding in 1855.
In late 19th century the site formed part of railway depot for Cheltenham Spa St. James Railway Station (closed in the late 1960s). Characterised by compact network of depot buildings, including metal works and a smithy. Wynnstay House (oldest surviving infant school building) adjacent to site . Built 1830. Some warehouse buildings (now derelict) remain on site. Design response opportunity to create new youth community buildings with urban/industrial feel and spaces for developing skills. 1903
S ITE HISTORY Originally part of large 20 acre pleasure gardens
Copenhagen’s first climate adapted urban space. Sculptures capture rain water and filtrate to planting beds. Previously a large area of asphalt and tarmac. Now an exemplar green space. Captures ands retain heavy rainfall. In response to city being hit by two ‘1 in 100 year ‘ flood events in the past 5 years.
Existing festival culture. New youth-led events.
Reuse interesting buildings
New public realm space
Existing green infrastructure
Links and connections to key areas of the city
Good permeability for pedestrians and cyclists
Car parking provision
Listed buildings adjacent to site.
Jessops House - large building juxtaposes with architecture and scale on the site.
Lack of visual richness in some areas
Proximity to residential areas
New relationship to water through attractive SuDS
Flood zone 3. Create design features that can prevent flooding extent
Road junction by site entrance/gateway
The design concept for St James Square drew on the positivity and beauty that can arise from chaotic systems, reflecting the sometimes challenging stage of young people’s lives. Reassurance is provided in the chaos of natural systems surrounding them. Planting beds contain self-seeding plants to create autonomous but beautiful areas, providing splashes of colour reminiscent of graffiti. Attractive SuDS elements and green roofs provide a positive responsive to erratic weather patterns and flood risks. Flexible, nonprescribed spaces encourage creativity in all its forms.
10 St James Square | Cheltenham
C AT H E R I N E L A I D L AW s1509771 | AD4605 | May 2016 | 1 of 3
- After the Black Gold: A View of Mining Heritage from Coalfield Areas in Britain (Rosemary Power)
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Some responses were expected...some were unexpected, like the emphasis on preserving the physical landscape, environmental considerations, and the recognition of the value of women’s work. What came out the strongest was the sense of community spirit, which was seen as something intangible but essential and inherently preservable.
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Lightmoor Colliery Forest of Dean 177
The brief requested a health and wellbeing centre at Lightmoor as part of regenerating old colliery spoil heaps in the Forest of Dean.
The design process for Lightmoor drew on this local characteristic of self-creating but interdependent communities that are closely tied to the landscape.
The Forest has a unique and vibrant heritage ranging from the ancient Freeminers who have earned the right to mine their own plots, to modern day ecofarmers creating their own communities in the Forest and striving towards an ecologically sound living.
The proposals create a regenerated landscape that limits disturbing the now naturalised manmade landforms. Utilising the spoil heap slopes and minimising their alteration are proposed, as well sympathetic buildings and planting schemes. The use of art in the landscape also contributes towards capturing the siteâ€™s heritage and providing a connection between the past and present. 175
12 Lightmoor Colliery | Forest of Dean
“Walk as if your feet are kissing the earth” - Thich Nhat Hanh
Hard and soft material palette boards
LIGHTING //LED //LOW LEVEL
NATURAL PLAY SITES
// // // // // SLEEPING PODS & RETREAT HUTS
TIMBER DECKING HOGGIN TRACKS FOREST OF DEAN PAVING PERVIOUS CONCRETE WOODCHIP PATHS
// CYCLE NETWORK // ART & THE TRAVELLING LANDSCAPE
// SCULPTURE TRAIL // LAND ART
EARTH-SHELTERED HOME | MALVERN, WORCESTERSHIRE | DJD ARCHITECTS
// FOREST SCHOOLS ACTIVITIES // NATURE TRAILS
// UPPER CANOPY // HERBACEOUS
// OAK // BIRCH // SWEET CHESTNUT // FERNS //SEDGES
// SHRUB LAYER
// LOVAGE // SORREL L
// CHERRY // PLUM
// GROUND COVER // STRAWBERRY
// CURRANTS // QUINCE
// // // //
SALIX SALIX SALIX SALIX
ALBA PURPUREA TRIANDRA X RUBRA
// ANNUAL CROPS // HERBS // PERENNIAL VEGETABLES // APPLE & PEAR TREES
// NORTH FACING SIDE
// BEET VEG GROUP // MINT // GOOSEBERRIES // CURRANTS // PLUM & CHERRY TREES
// REED BED TREATMENT SYSTEM
- Buddhist proverb
// WELLBEING CENTRE // BIKE CAFE // OFFICE UNITS
BIOMASS FUEL WILLOW CRAFTS BIOCHAR CHARCOAL MAKING
// SOUTH FACING SIDE
// // // //
“As a bee gathering nectar does not harm or disturb the colour or fragrance of the ﬂower, so do the wise move through the world”
RIPARIAN & AQUATIC
// LOCAL STONE // LOCAL TIMBER CLADDING // RECYCLED SHIPPING CONTAINERS // GREEN OAK TIMBER // TIMBER CRIB RETAINING WALLS
// DESIGNED PLANT COMMUNITIES // WOODLAND & WOODLAND EDGE // MOIST GRASSLAND // PRIMULA VERIS // OENOTHERA BIENNIS // CORNUS SANGUINEA //SALIX ALBA // FERNS & MOSSES
// // // //
PHRAGMITES AUSTRALIS IRIS PSEUDOCORUS NYMPHAEA LEMNA TRISULCA
Lightmoor Colliery | Forest of Dean
Leckhampton | Cheltenham Located on the edge of Cheltenham, Leckhampton Glebe is bounded by Green Belt and the Cotswold AONB. The brief stated the inclusion of housing at appropriate density, a new community hub and primary school, inclusion of a Country Park, as well as a Green Infrastructure plan and pedestrian/ cyclist circulation routes. In the design proposals orchards are restored and new areas of common ground are created to reflect the historic character of the field patterns and land usage of the area. A community hub provides a â€˜green heartâ€™ for local residents. A swale and tree lined, vehicle-free high
A Designated car parking areas to keep central communal area vehicle free. B Homezone area signified by change in hard landscaping. Provides cue to drivers entering space. C Central semi-private/communal greenspace. Includes swales, shared gardens and play areas. D High density housing opposite community hub buildings E Swales border housing and paths.
14 Leckhampton | Cheltenham
street provides a transition from residential areas towards the Country Park and outwards to the AONB. Dwelling are placed in homezones, providing safe places for residents to interact. Alongside the human community, the existing green infrastructure is enhanced through improving hedgerows, protecting watercourses, and extending tree planting, including establishing a woodland cemetery and diverse wildflower meadows. In addition, SuDS components create an integrated landscape that promotes and enhances both human and environmental health.
Detention basins double up as play areas. Some incorporating NEAP/ LEAP equipment
Combined sustainable travel and wildlife corridors
Community supported agriculture
Country Park habitats
Leckhampton | Cheltenham
Thank you for reading
Selection of landscape architecture work