Vilde Bakkeli SandYear 1 MArch
Dungeness Newt Sanctuary
Romney Marsh, UK
Dungeness is home to a large population of great crested newts, an amphibian species that is endangered and therefore protected by several UK and European laws. The newt ponds they currently live in are due to be flooded by the ocean within 2050, destroying their habitats and proposing a threat to the species.
The Newt Sanctuary sets out a bio-ecological corridor to migrate newts to a safe area, where new ponds are restored and constructed to save the Dungeness population. A visitors’ centre with a cafe and moon observatory is the project’s main architectural proposal. Newt activity has been proven to increase with the full moon, so as a response, the observatory has openings strategically placed to capture the moon and through the open plan space, moonlight shines down to the ground, where visitors can access a platform below the structure for interaction with the newts on ground level. Pumice stone in gabion structures is used to raise the building to not disturb the existing habitats, while simultaneously creating a new ecosystem encouraging newts to inhabit the structure and follow the migration corridor. The corridor follows a human walkway, with little cabins spread along the route for visitors’ short-term accommodation.
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