Abjects in the landscape

The problem of redundant nuclear power stations can’t easily be swept under the carpet, you need something bigger than that, like a small mountain perhaps?

http://adaptivereuse.net/wp-content/uploads/images/Trawsfynydd Magnox nuclear power station
(Photo
ellyll)

If this dinosaur technology gets revived cleaning up after it will become a chronic problem so it’s interesting to consider a 1994 project to adaptively reuse the Trawsfynydd Magnox nuclear power station in Wales. Built in the late 1950s and designed, amazingly, by Sir Basil Spence of Coventry Cathedral fame, Trawsfynydd had the usual controversial history. It was claimed at the time that it would blend into the landscape and if you believed that then we have some Nigerian friends you may like to meet, they want to give you millions of dollars. Echoing Soane, Spence more realistically quipped “Will it make a beautiful ruin?” .

Landscape reuse aficionado David Barrie (with whom we feel a natural affinity) created the project to explore solutions to the Trawsfynydd decommissioning, a process predicted to take over 100 years.

Arup Partners proposal for Trawsfynydd

We liked the sweep-it-under-a-mountain solution,

site architects Trawsfynydd proposal

and the paint-watercolours-that-make-it-look-like-a-romantic-ruined-castle solution has a lot going for it as well. In fact they are all pretty interesting, even the Michelin-man-fat-suit solution.

Personally, we would propose a more brutal sort of Picturesque solution, use random explosive charges to collapse half of both buildings leaving giant shattered stumps, sprinkle them with something that softly fluoresces in the moonlight (this may be unnecessary) then add some ivy to finish it off. In other words, adaptive reuse as a monstrous landscape garden folly. Perhaps a few oversize Welsh gnomes by Ron Mueck would help.

Check it out on David Barrie’s blog, in fact read the whole blog, it’s worth the effort. (Note to David Barrie: the content is great, but the white on black theme…? IMHO)

One thought on “Abjects in the landscape

  1. Dave Anderson

    Don’t blow it up ! Use it for some purpose. The walls and building must be build like a tank and have many years of life left (if you don’t mind glowing in the deark). Seriously there must be some purpose for it. Adaptive reuse should be considered. This is my favorite adaptive reuse example in Illinois USA. http://evanston-condos.com/adaptive-reuse-recyling-condos-progress.htm They took an old steel cutting plant and are turning it into small business and living lofts.

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