Park of Reflections, Lea Valley
The River Lea is one of the most polluted rivers in the country with estimations that “about half of the water flowing at any one time is, in fact, processed sewage water.”
This scheme puts forward a wetland park for Bromley-by-Bow. Surrounding the edges of the site exposed to water, extensive reed beds are proposed to filter the aforementioned sewage as well as to buffer pollutants from industrial land nearby. These ‘green edges’ slope gently down towards the river to offer a gradient for ecological adjustment by invertebrates during fluctuations in water level (lower in Summer, higher in Winter). The park is intended as an educational catalyst for a ‘greening movement’ along the banks from Luton to Bow Creek.
The language of the park is derived from experiments with fabric formed plaster. I identified one particularly successful experiment and traced over key lines on Autocad. These lines were then overlaid onto the aerial view and adapted to suit the shape of the island and the size of pools and public space required.
The animated landscape, conceived as a series of giant puddles, is intended as a park of reflections to showcase the East London sky. The pools vary in reflectivity according to depth, water quality, wildlife, surface dwelling plants such as lilies or algae, weather, sky above, lining material, immediate surroundings and the individual’s distance from the water. The planting also changes from reed beds to colourful to meadow to lawn to fragrant to grasses to edible as you move round the park.
The building program proposes an environmental educational centre aimed at school children. This centre would endeavour to promote awareness of twenty-first century environmental concerns. The structure itself is set into the park and accessed via a downwards ramp. The centre is intended as a contemporary example of earth sheltered housing with a green roof articulated at landscape level for the public to enjoy.