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The Industrial Forest of Elpis - Creating a New Socio-Economic and Civil Structure in Ex-Mining Towns

Part 2 Project 2022
Joseph Benjamin White
De Montfort University | UK
Coalville is a town filled with nodes of nostalgia, each one pertaining to key social, political, or industrial moments in its history. These monuments are steeped with an ache for the past and represent the deep trauma that runs through its social fabric. The town’s industries have always evolved; however, the closure of the collieries saw a socio-economic stagnation.

Acting as a new nodal point in the town, it will aid in the reassociation between people and nature, focus will begin by maintaining the existing National Forest land while introducing the sustainable harvesting of materials. Industrial hemp and new arboriculture will be planted, with all harvested elements brought back to site and manufactured into sustainable construction materials.

It will offer large scale employment and upskilling, while simultaneously increasing the community’s exposure to nature.

The scheme will integrate civil and social centres, reimagining how civic buildings work and their transparency within the community. Creating surprising moments such as administration below a glass floor of an apiary, a wood sorting yard combined with the council chamber, and intuitive collaboration spaces within a fern house. Each space will put human interaction and nature at the centre of its architecture and revitalise the community.

Joseph Benjamin White

James Flynn
Ashley Clayton
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