The Moorside Tarn & Pike was our proposal for the Nuclear Power Screening Mounds in North Cumbria UK. Here are the details:
Moorside sits strategically between two fundamental landscape features, the majestic peaks of the Lake District and the vast blue mass of the Irish Sea. Our proposal reflects both physically and visually on the sublime qualities of these landscapes and that of the Cumbrian territory in general, in the production of an awe-inspiring, sustainable and ecologically restorative terrain utilising the spoil accumulated from the power station.
We propose the organisation of the mounds to create a central valley which emphasises views across the site, towards the Lake District highest peaks and the sunset landscapes of the seaside. Through the inversion of the existing hydrology network, water runoff is redistributed centrally to reproduce a mountain lake locally known as Tarns. The Tarn is a distinctive feature acting as the hinge of the project, managing the water volume on site, choreographing the astonishing views and organising the mounded landforms that are brought to life through rainfall. While the main publicly accessible site involves the creation of the Moorside Tarn, the south mounds site could be used to create the Moorside Pike.
This single hill stands in direct contrast to the tarn formation in order to provide a clear identity to both landforms. Whilst the Moorside Tarn welcomes visitors and choreographs its movements and visuals in and around the water body, the pike directs views and provides a singular viewing spot that witnesses the transformation of waste material into a sustainable landscape and distinctive landmark.
At the outset, we were interested in the various patterns and features evident in the mountainous landscape of the Lake District which have contributed to its unique identity and attraction as a popular tourist destination. We noted the series of linear ridges, arranged in a broadly radial formation existing alongside a complex pattern of water run-off directed across the mounds forming not only the elongated lakes which give the place its name, but also the many smaller mountainous Tarns, streams and cascades which provide one of the unique qualities of the region; the ability to view vast expanses of landscape with water in the foreground. The clear water provides a mirrored reflection, further emphasising the scale of the surroundings.
In comparison, Moorside exists within a gently undulating topography adjacent to the coast, with the Lake District looming prominently in the background. Using GIS technology we performed a hydrology analysis of the area, which revealed a series of drainage channels funnelling water along a predominantly north to south axis without much conformity to the existing farmland mosaic pattern. It is this network of drainage lines which provided the main basis for the organisation of the mounds on our site.
In a dual response to prevent further flooding of the surrounding area and with the idea of creating an amenity rich central waterbody we propose to invert the existing direction of water flow, redirecting it towards the centre of the site. Through the organisation of the mounds, rainfall could be directed towards a central valley between the mounds, creating an elongated body of water which we refer to as the Moorside Tarn, picking up on the local naming tradition of these types of landforms within Cumbrian heritage. The mounds would provide a performative function within the surrounding landscapes. Ensuring that water drains predominantly centrally and not into any adjacent towns, agricultural land or into the power station itself, helping to prevent the possibility of flooding issues. At the same time, this opens up great opportunities to reflect on the landscape qualities of the Lake District, providing for a richer human experience of the site while placing emphasis on the views towards the Lake District and the coast.
It’s important to emphasise that the concept we have illustrated in the panels is one scenario for how the mounds could be formed and is flexible to change. What we intend to emphasise instead is a strategy, in which based on as yet unknown constraints (for example, how the soil will be moved) the resulting formation may be adjusted. For our own proposal we assumed a particular technique of soil redistribution, whereby earth is moved via Giant Dump Trucks along linear corridors in which the truck moves back and forth, creating a teardrop shaped mound, where the slope on one side becomes consolidated by the movement of the truck, and on the other side the soil rests at the angle of repose. This simple mechanism of teardrop formations generated by the truck makes the truck movements more efficient by reducing its turning, minimizing the energy and additional costs of land shaping. The movement of the trucks follows the linear corridors of the existing water network, with the main supply axis running through the central part of the site. In this way, with this adaptable, cheap and sustainable strategy we can redirect and control the hydrology networks towards the Tarn, giving a new identity to the site.
- Name: The Moorside Tarn & Pike.
- Location: Moorside.
- Year of Competition: 2016
- Brief: Screening Mounds for a Nuclear Power Station in Moorside
- Design Stages: Competition Submission
- Client: Nugen
- Project Implementation Budget: NA.
- Team: Groundlab with SpaceHub
- Status: Submitted