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Medal Winner 2023
RIBA Award for Sustainable Design

The Council for Ecosystem Restoration

Part 1 Project 2023
Kacper Sehnke
University of Westminster | UK
The Council for Ecological Restoration aims to regenerate ecosystems globally and nationally, incorporating ecosystemic processes within the building envelope and timber materiality. It benefits other-than-human species, ecosystems, and humans. Inspired by the half-earth conservation movement, the building hosts the United Nations Decade for Ecosystems Restoration project, serving as a platform for political discussions, research, and lobbying to protect and restore global ecosystems.

Situated near Chingford tube station in Epping Forest, on a concrete-covered site occupied by the Connaught Tennis Club, the building's key objective is to remediate the ground, breaking down the concrete to promote regrowth of native flora and restore the local ecology. Recycled and upcycled timber elements from consumer objects and dismantled buildings are incorporated, while the building envelope utilises timber harvested from Epping Forest during its regular pollarding. These facades support vertical plant growth and provide habitats and nesting spaces.

The design increases local biodiversity without contributing to deforestation, showcasing a sustainable approach to timber construction. As the building decays over time, it becomes a habitat for wildlife, with materials decomposing into the ground and merging with the landscape. Throughout its lifecycle, the project embraces regenerative principles, combining technical and biological circularity strategies, and prioritising habitat restoration.

Kacper Sehnke

Tutor(s)
Eric Guibert
Bruce Irwin
2023
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