Highbury Park, reflections on first visit, Ula Bujauskaite

Site visit

Meeting LOCATION: very small, tiny, messy, hardly noticeable (if standing further then ~10m away) POND at Highbury Park, Birmingham, United Kingdom.

Team members: Very sleepy, freezing but smiling year 2 Landscape Architecture students.

Person who knows almost everything about Highbury Park and seems very excited to see us on a site: David Papadopoulos – Director, Project Development at Highbury Orchard Community CIC (orchard.hicopa.org).

Today we had quite a walk that helped us to understand and experience Highbury Park as it is, or as it looks for me personally: wet, vandalized, huge, exciting, intriguing, empty of people, full of rubbish (literally) and with loads of potential.

David filled us with quite a bit of information: historical, contemporary, geographical, biological, positive and negative… Talked about the origins of the pond and its history. About everything what happens in the pond and around it. (…and that is what we would like to change).

CHANGE. Brief.

How and Why.

To create a viewing platform.

Following info is from Russell Good’s brief for the project:

“’Hide and Seek’ provides a challenge for a three dimensional structure to;

provide a new range of habitats ,enables viewing and observing with an

intimate connectivity to nature. incorporate elegance of design into the

aesthetics of sustainability. to reflect / enhance sense of place.”

The Highbury Park proved one: it has enormous potential for our ideas, although, it does not make design process any easier.

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