Biophilic coral resilience

THE SITE: ROTHERHITHE GASOMETER

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.

PHYSICAL EXPERIMENTATION

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.

DIGITAL EXPERIMENTATION

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.

MESH TO STRUCTURE

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.