Moxon Architects and Knight Architects are collaborating to transform a network of underground canals and limestone mines in the West Midlands into a new tourist attraction.
The Strata project, part of the Black Country Consortium's Big Lottery Living Landmarks initiative, will link the Wren's Nest Nature Reserve with a honeycomb of mines. According to the two AJ 40 under 40 firms, the scheme is made up of three distinct components. First is a new canalside museum and visitor centre at Todd's End, which guides visitors to narrowboats while explaining the history of the network. Second is the Step Shaft Mine element, which includes a 200m-long funicular lift to the different cavern levels. Third are the Seven Sisters daylight galleries - a series of open-air mines linked by a striking foyer enclosure. The People's Millions - a televised vote in September - will decide if the scheme is built.