Super Duper Mare
Weston Super Mare, UK
STATUS Competition Entry 2008 / DESIGN TEAM Balmori Associates, Work AC / PHOTOS Courtesy Balmori Associates, Work AC
Birnbeck Pier’s history is re-imagined as a Twenty-First Century Victorian Pleasure Garden, where landscapes offer a multi-programmed architectural lattice of recreation and event spaces. Birnbeck Island blossoms with activity and life- programmatically through the creation of an island of leisure and diverse activities that include clubs, concerts, spa and hotel – with a series of thematic and distinctive gardens that mirror the landscapes of the region.
We imagine the island’s activities matched with its natural environment and sustainable systems, creating a unique destination combining the excitement of massive events with the serenity of garden strolling. The project will be primarily serviced with sustainable systems that include a wind and tidal power generation. We propose many of the island’s activities to occur with the tidal cycle rather than night-day. Inspired by sources as diverse as the clumps of mussels found in the Severn Estuary, the rock formations of East Quantoxhead and Kilve, and the ecotones of the region, our design concept creates a new statement for Weston Super Mare through programmatic “chips” that stack on top of each other to create areas such as the hotel and “pleasure cave,” or layered at different levels so that the overall effect and spatial configuration changes dramatically with the tide. Each “chip” is set deep enough to support abundant plant life as a green roof and generous space within it.