Black Devon Wetlands viewing screen

Civic Architects, Clackmannanshire, 2016

 

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The viewing screen is a semi-enclosed shelter for volunteers and visitors to Scotland’s newest nature reserve. 

Andrew Siddall     Download Original

  • The viewing screen is a semi-enclosed shelter for volunteers and visitors to Scotland’s newest nature reserve.    
  • Newly formed freshwater pools are ranged alongside a new boardwalk that provides access to the screen. Clay extraction originally created a suite of artificial freshwater and brackish pools that are becoming rich in wildlife.     
  • RSPB    
  • The screen frames extraordinarily beautiful views of the reserve, including fragments of the historic landscape such as the Clackmannanshire Tower.    
  • The viewing screen is essentially an agricultural construction intended to weather to a set of self-finished patinas.    
  • 12 laser cut interpretation panels – a collaboration with artist Astrid Jaekel – depict birds seen month-by-month and ranged over Clackmannanshire’s post-industrial skyline.    
  • Seared Larch cladding from Perthshire lends a ‘feathery’ pattern to the screen’s outside, while corten steel interpretation panels are weathering to a russet orange.    
  • Black Devon Wetlands, is a mosaic of untouched wet grassland and wetland habitat behind the sea wall    
  • RSPB is restoring these wetlands to make them accessible to families via a new network of paths, a boardwalk, the viewing screen and a new raised viewing area.    
  • The viewing screen punctuates this remarkable landscape, drawing people into focus with wildlife, pylons and medieval towers alike    
  • North (internal) Elevation    
  • West (external) Elevation    
  • Boardwalk approach proposals    
  • July to October excerpt from Astrid Jaekel    
  • The design proposal is a 3 dimensional nest structure, directly aligned with the wetland habitat to the south-east and incorporating a beautiful laser-cut interpretive calendar for year-round information.    
  • Above foundation level, the screen was entirely constructed by civic’s Andrew Siddall with RSPB staff and volunteers.    
  • Artist, Astrid Jaekel    
  • Corten steel sample laser-cuts of Dunlins    
  • Steel fabrication assembly detail    

A semi-enclosed shelter for volunteers and visitors to Scotland’s newest nature reserve, on the Inner Forth just south-east of Alloa

The 38-hectare site, known as Black Devon Wetlands, is a mosaic of untouched wet grassland and wetland habitat behind the sea wall.

The Cauldron bi-plane factory occupied the site in the 1920s, followed by mine workings. The site was then used for clay extraction. This created a suite of artificial freshwater and brackish pools that are becoming rich in wildlife. The reserve is an important refuge for large flocks of breeding and wintering wildfowl, special to the Firth of Forth SPA. RSPB is restoring these wetlands to make them accessible to families via a new network of paths, a boardwalk, the viewing screen and a new raised viewing area.

The brief was to deliver a viewing structure with a budget of just £24,000. The structure was required to screen people from birds on the wetlands, while providing visitors with excellent views of the reserve, and shelter from the elements. In response, the design provides a modest enclosure, open from the back, with mixed-height openings for bird-watching at the edge of the wetland pools.

The screen sits on corkscrew foundations minimising contamination in the ground. Above foundation level, the screen was entirely constructed by civic’s Andrew Siddall with RSPB staff and volunteers, to save cost.

Seared Larch cladding from Perthshire lends a ‘feathery’ pattern to the screen’s outside while 12 laser cut interpretation panels – a collaboration with artist Astrid Jaekel – depict birds seen month-by-month and ranged over Clackmannanshire’s post-industrial skyline. The screen frames extraordinarily beautiful views of the reserve, but it also punctuates this remarkable landscape, drawing people into focus with wildlife, pylons and medieval towers alike.

Data

  • Begun: Oct 2016
  • Completed: Dec 2016
  • Floor area: 22m2
  • Sector: Public realm
  • Total cost: £24
  • Funding: Heritage Lottery Fund; Inner Forth Landscape Initiative; EcoCo LIFE
  • Tender date: Jan 2016
  • Procurement: Open ideas competition followed by direct commission to design and install.
  • Address: Black Devon Wetlands, Grid reference: NS891915, Near Alloa, Clackmannanshire, FK101BZ, United Kingdom

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