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Innovation Centre, Lac du Salagou, France

Part 2 Project 2015
Martyn Webb
University of Portsmouth | UK
In 1969, Lac du Salagou, France, was dammed and flooded by the government with the intention of irrigating and thus resurrecting the poor quality vineyards upon which the local economy was dependant. Since then, ironically, the lake has never been used for irrigation. The lake transformed the landscape, severed roads and submerged buildings, bridges and a village; a community was ruined. Our Studio, entitled Architecture & Landscape, was presented with this scenario and, collectively, we prepared a masterplan that sought to alter the perception of the lake from an unacceptable intrusion in the landscape to a positive and sustainable force for change. Our ideas revolved around encouraging agro-tourism.

Part of our strategy was to encourage sustainable construction. My Innovation Centre will be a ‘Centre of Excellence’ for tourists, the construction industry and students who learn about the practice, research and development of building from natural materials. More specifically, they would utilise local materials surrounding the lake, such as straw and hemp to develop construction systems.

Martyn Webb

Ms Kate Baker

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