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MArch II students exhibit their visions of a sustainable future for the Crumlin Navigation Colliery

4 July 2022

Crumlin Colliery

Eight final year Master of Architecture students recently had the opportunity to share their visions of a sustainable future for historic colliery site, the Crumlin Navigation Colliery in Gwent as part of their final year project.

A public exhibition entitled: ‘’Carbon past, slow carbon futures: visions of a sustainable future for the Crumlin Navigation Colliery’ took place on Sunday 26 June within the power house of the derelict colliery and enabled the students to display their architectural proposals exploring how this historic site might be brought back to life and play a role in Wales’s fight against climate change. Whilst fictitious, it is hoped that their ideas will inspire others to see the potential of the Grade II* listed buildings. The exhibition also included an update on current real initiatives, with participation from Friends of the NavigationCardiff Business School, Cardiff University Civic Mission Innovation for All, The Coal Authority, and ARC Academy.

MArch students Jordan Grady and Rowan Luckman said:

Jordan “The chance to exhibit our work in the context of our site was incredible. Being able to engage with the residents of Crumlin and the local council under the shadow of the industrial structures of Crumlin's carbon past helped to create a wonderful visual and contextual link to our proposed projects for a low carbon future. “

Rowan “Student projects, by their nature, are always at the risk of being slightly removed from reality. This is why the real-life brief of suggesting a future for the colliery, along with the site visits and interaction with community group Friends of The Navigation has afforded such a rewarding and impactful thesis project. Having chosen the unit for the site on which we were all to work [rather than the brief], I was at first reticent to be constricted to a conservation and low-carbon centric scheme, two areas which I had little experience in before this year. However, I have immensely enjoyed the challenges and opportunities these themes have brought to the project, and have been able to design a scheme which I feel is wholly mine, alongside developing a personal interest in low-carbon and clean energy generation and storage. It has been a pleasure to work with the beautiful historic buildings of Crumlin Navigation and I am excited to see what the future holds for them in the years to come.”

The students worked closely with ‘Friends of the Navigation,’ a group of members and volunteers committed to saving the buildings at the site of the Navigation Colliery. Their goal is to bring the site back to community use and restore the Grade II listed buildings for a variety of uses.

Chairperson Vera Jenkins:

“Sunday was so informative and innovative. We are very pleased that the facility of the buildings and surroundings were appreciated. As you are aware we as “Friends of” have an ethos for community and opportunity for education.”

Treasurer Bill Davison:

“It was a pleasure hosting the event and I am sure a lot of interest has been generated both in what can be achieved by our students of today and also in the Navigation project.”

For more information on the courses available at the Welsh School of Architecture, please visit our website.

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