This open ideas competition was organised by Greenpeace as part of a campaign against the development of a third runway at Heathrow airport. The brief was to fortify a piece of land on the site of the proposed runway, in order to help resist its possible future occupation.

The proposal drew on the history of the area, from early Roman earthworks to market gardens, orchards and bee-keeping. We developed a low cost scheme, using geological elements available on the site, namely the red ‘Brick earth’ and underlying gravel, which are formed into a structural enclosure using a geotexile reinforcement system. A network of steel screw pipes support an inhabited canopy, allowing the site to be transversed at high level. The theme of the bee-dance, with a directional bee-line, structured the relationship of the site to Heathrow airport. The natural landscape of the site was developed to provide food and protection, and to bring life back to the surrounding impoverished land.

Client: Greenpeace
Competition: 2010
Collaborators: Daniela Sikora, landscape consultant; Richard Tant Associates, structural engineer
Site area: 3,000m2
download project pdf