An open national competition set up by ‘Sustrans’ (a sustainable transportation charity, pioneering the national 10,000 miles of cycle routes in the UK) and the Architects Journal. A strategic ideas-based competition which also sought to understand the make up of our proposed design team, preliminary costings and strategy as a feasibility stage.
The project is a mile long, deep disused railway cutting in the heart of East Grinstead. The site has been left unused for decades and forms a somewhat under-utilised tranquil retreat from the rigours of every day town centre life. Our scheme aims to revitalise this area in to a new ‘human’ based route way. A route way not generated by the car but by the cyclist, walker, horseback rider and the like.
Along the route way our proposal sites open market places, cafes, kiosks, an eco-centre, a youth centre, artist and craft studios and new eco-homes. A new vibrant community. Careful infilling of the set down railway make it more accessible and retaining sufficient mature trees and shrubs inherently retains the special feel of this set away site. Our proposals aim to create a new link arm between the Worth Way route and East Grinstead, including to the north towards hospitals, schools and housing.
Elegant timber framed buildings for the restaurant / cafe, ecology and youth centre with their organic forms, sustainable materials and elements of rainwater harvesting, solar paneling, naturally ventilated spaces with sheep insulation and rammed earth walls ensure it answers all the questions that need to be resolved for buildings in the 21st century.