Located in the post mining town of Pentrebach, the project comprises of a protective or retaining Wall for the imposing colliery heap above the town and a subsequent seasonal residences Tower. The brief developed from the Unit’s initiating tasks. Sites in Music, and an adhesive tectonic study. The former sought to capture sites and themes, Every Valley by Public Service Broadcasting depicts the rise and decline of the coal industry and acknowledges the resultant neglected communities concentrated by the mining pits. Communities have always existed on the economic periphery in the fact the industry extract their land resources in order for capital to be acquired elsewhere. My take on the adhesive exploration was initially centred by the contemporary verisimilitude in architecture afforded by the composite panel, which led to an exploration of its antithesis defined by monocoque folded plate structures. The task additionally initiated an exercise of material interrogation and the research of novel coal based materials; a theme that came to govern the projects built elements. The Wall possesses a counter intuitive quality, an observation that gave rise to the Sergison Bates, Resistance essay. The Wall is subservient to the terrain in which it serves, a condition heightened by the rigidity of the Wall systems rationale, or artist’s constraints. The Tower follows the conceptual and material trajectory set by its preceding landscape intervention. In its service for urban capital to retreat, the aforementioned, wider capitalist constructs of the mining industries come to the fore. Akin to the Wall in ‘making visible’, the Tower furthers the polemical commentary on the relationship between land extraction, capital and the value assigned to life. The shutter protagonist, comprised of a Coal Based Glass Ceramic becomes a weighted measure of time, whilst sincerely expressing the value of the landscape and furthermore a renewed economy for coal beyond its accepted use in power generation.

The problem in landscape architecture for me is you don’t have an economy in landscape. Do you know how much you are worth? Your price as a human being? It’s 1.8 million. It’s based on a calculation from the seventies, to protect you from an accident in your car. What’s interesting is that we have these industrial standards to measure landscape. Gunther Vogt – REGISTER