University of Cambridge RIBA Bronze Medal Commendation

Intern Rachel Caul has received a RIBA Bronze Medal Commendation for her final year project, Reclaiming the Ruin. Rachel studied in Studio 2, led by Caruso St John Director, Rod Heyes.

The RIBA President's Medals are international awards presented annually by the Royal Institute of British Architects to architecture students or recent graduates and are regarded as the most prestigious prizes in architectural education.

Reclaiming the Ruin proposes a possible future for Bacton Gas Terminal on the Norfolk coast. The project explores the 'worked example' of repurposing the previously fossil fuel site into a vineyard.

The proposals consist of a supporting infrastructure accommodating positive new uses for the site as it evolves and the ground rehabilitates. A new landscape infrastructure isolates healthier plots, creating sheltered microclimates for young vines to thrive. An architecture of stable stone walls and large timber spans emerges – a culmination of themes of reuse, growth and spatial diversity. Construction uses Norfolk flint, timber from thinning Bacton Wood, existing foundations and reclaimed materials from gas exploitation. Ultimately, the site is returned harmlessly to nature, contributing to coastal protection, becoming a habitat for wildlife and a fundamental part of the local ecosystem.

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