Forgotten Spaces: Beckton Alp by MUF Architecture
[NEWHAM] An accessible wilderness
Beckton Alp is the ironically named mound of gas works waste on the edge of the A13 in Newham. Rising to 35ft, it is topped with a clay cap to seal its toxic contents, and despite this being pierced, it hasn’t stopped visitors being drawn to the site by its sense of ruin and wildness, as well as its fine views to central London and along the Thames to Purfleet.
Unlike a designated amenity space, the Alp has an ambiguous character that Muf architects seek to preserve while creating a fully accessible landscape different from more conventional open spaces.
The scheme includes a phytoremediation garden featuring plants that absorb heavy metals and other toxins and either neutralises or stores them. The plants are then harvested and safety destroyed. Also included are related events including The Alp Natural and Cultural History Collection, a group of artifacts made from natural and inorganic objects found on site; the Alp Social, a series of lunches hosted on the site; and The Alp Away Day, a seminar and exhibition with an invited audience of officers, journalists, councilors, developers and Alp Collection contributors.
Forgotten Spaces: All 20 shortlisted entries feature in a public exhibition at the National Theatre until 4 July www.nationaltheatre.org.uk