Biophilic coral resilience

Brief 1:


Rotherhithe, South west London, is a redeveloped, residential area with a close-knit community of residents. The site is currently under planning with proposals to build a multi-use housing development around the gasometer.

In 2019, the Rotherhithe Gas Holder company opened a temporary Hub to receive resident feedback for the planned development. Lots of feedback was in relation to the heritage of Rotherhithe, with residents requesting the history of the site is maintained and celebrated.

The name ‘Rotherhithe’ derived from the Latin translation of ‘Landing place’, as it was part of the Docklands trade, with raw materials and goods being imported to the site via ships from around the world.

Rotherhithe Warehouse, 1960

The inspiration behind my proposal was to put this heritage request at the forefront of design consideration, and the artefact brings back the plants that grow herbs, fruits, spices and botanicals that were once imported into Rotherhithe.


Taking inspiration from the death of a coral skeleton after bleaching, the artefact is based on a replicated ‘mesh’ aspect of strong and resilliant branching coral.


Taking the resillience of a coral mesh, I have experimented on Grasshopper with different methods of creating the initial design concepts of my artefact. The mesh will act as a supportive shell, with plants integrated throughout.


The Grasshopper experiments are transformed into various containers based on the concept of Wardian Cases, providing various moisture, light and temperature conditions for each individual plant.

Brief 2:


Currently, the research has began by looking at regenerative farming, named no. 11 / 100 in Drawdown for ways to help reverse global warming. Brief 2 looks at how regenerative farming and permacultire can be combined with arcologies to create fully self sustaining climates.

Researching Biosphere 2 has shown how self-sstaining climates can be re created, allowing a diverse range of life to grow and thrive. Similar to brief 01 on a much larger scale, such as the researched Eugine Tsui’s Ultima tower, whilst considering waste streams, resources, materials and energy consumption.

Scaling up the existing heritage harvester and creating more features to create a self-sustaining ecosystem with various living, communal, leisure, commercial and biodiverse spaces.

Author: katstevens

RIBA Master of Architecture Part II Biophilia, nature, self-sustaining Architecture. Experienced in BREEAM, environmental analysis & material sustainability

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