uLaB, category A
The concept for the new development of the Chelmsford Peninsula is to create an urban eco Lab. It is a response to historical, ecological and socioeconomic conditions of the site linking past, present and future. pensinsuLaB is an active place where investigation merges with recreation bringing together research and community. It leads the society towards a richer and valued knowledge and engagement with their environment.
peninsuLaB design pursues to recover and implement the ecological cycle of the site. Hence, it has a time dimension that indicates changes in the landscape involving innovation and development researchers, community and authorities in the process. The site is linked historically to coal, which brought prosperity and commercial growth to Chelmsford. But, also coal was the source of the pollution on site due to the Gasworks past activity using coal to produce flammable gas. Recent studios within the North Sea Region claim BioChar “as [a] way to capturing carbon and increasing soil quality an stability” (Interreg IVb, 2014).
Then, the regeneration of the contaminated soil is seen as the primary driver for a sustainable and resilient future. It is the starting point of the ecological process to recover the vegetation and wildlife and to improve water quality. The spaces bounded for this ecological investigation approach the citizen by interrelationships and sequences of experiences such as walk, stop, look, think, enjoy, explore. The design narrates the activity of a lab where time and spatial tests are carried out.