As part of my third year at the University of Greenwich I produced a Masterplan for Convoys Wharf in Deptford. The site is situated on the River Thames and covers an area of 16 hectares. It is privately owned and therefore access is restricted. Because we were unable to access the site, information was gathered using historic and online research. The knowledge gained gave great insight into the site’s genius loci (spirit of the place). In addition surveys and analyses were undertaken in the local area to explore the culture and history of Deptford.
My design is a constructed urban wetland with a visitor centre at it’s heart. My concept was to give the land back to nature and visitors. Wetlands have declined by 90% in the UK since Roman times and our waterways have suffered as a result through loss of species diversity and pollution. My design focuses on creating a meaningful destination for visitors and sustainable habitats for wildlife.
The bespoke concrete walkways, although heavy in carbon footprint, will outlast timber 10 times over. In addition, this design has many different habitats including aquatic, woodland and grassland. The planting is designed to sustain the ecological stability of the wetland. Native species have been used where appropriate and specialist plants used for water filtration. The wetland basins vary in depths to attract different species of birds, reptiles, mammals and invertebrates. Bespoke bird hides also give visitors the opportunity to observe the wildlife. Water levels are maintained by level adjust systems with a network of inflows and outflows connecting the basins. Wetlands can also reduce the risk of flooding in an urban environment.
I really enjoyed developing this Masterplan for Convoys Wharf. In this one design, I was able to express my passion for creating meaningful, functional and beautiful spaces. I also loved using some of our best native plants creating a sustainable landscape in an urban environment.