Tessa Cox

Year 1 MArch

Wet Morphologies: Hydro-hygro Designs Dialogues

Welland Bank, River Welland.

The Fenlands are a naturally marshy region of flat, low-lying land in Eastern England. Drained in the 17th century for agriculture, the area now faces significant flooding risks due to climate change and rising sea levels. These changes have driven the project’s focus on how water control and flooding affect the landscape.

This project aims to work with the inevitable flooding near the River Welland in the Fens. The design includes three absorbent structures that absorb floodwater and provide barriers to prevent flooding from spreading. These structures also create alternative habitats for species that have lost their wetland habitats due to the draining of the Fens. With 99% of the original wetland lost, many native species in the Fens have become endangered.

Challenging the existing reliance on hard engineering to manage lowland flooding, this project explores the interruption these methods cause to natural habitats and their porosity. The absorbent structures propose a softer, more porous intervention, balancing flood management with ecological restoration.

Alongside the absorbent structures, a visitor’s centre is located on-site. This serves as the initial hub of the proposal, linking to walkways around the structures and aiming to raise awareness of the problem. The centre provides information on flooding issues and the ecological significance of the wetland.

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