Unit XVIII: Carbon Pasts, Low-Carbon Future

A sustainable future for Crumlin Navigation Colliery.

As the climate crisis underlines the need to maximise the reuse of buildings and safeguard embodied carbon, the current pandemic calls into question the reliance of heritage on tourism and starkly underlines economic divides. Unit XVIII focused on the grade II* listed Crumlin Navigation Colliery, located in the heart of the Welsh Valleys. As the best-preserved colliery complex in south Wales, 'The Navigation' symbolises many of the historic and current issues facing the wider region. Once the source of high-quality steam coal, the site now has the potential to harness onsite low-carbon technologies and provide solutions for the surrounding communities.

The unit challenged students to make proposals for the site’s sustainable low carbon future, considering historic building conservation, industrial heritage, retrofit, adaptive reuse, low carbon design and economy, social inclusion, the UK’s carbon legacy, and our role in tackling the climate emergency.

The primer commenced with group work to build a comprehensive dossier of information which was then shared as a unit resource. In gathering this information, students used archival research, surveying techniques, sketching, photography, and community engagement. In parallel the students used artistic methods to capture their own initial personal responses to the site.

Using the work collated during the primer, each member of the unit undertook further research to define their thesis proposition and concept and make their own individual proposals. In the development of their proposals, they were encouraged to engage with physical methods of design (sketching, painting, modelmaking) as well as their digital counterparts.

In February, the students undertook a study trip to Manchester, Bradford, and Halifax to see examples of adaptive reuse of industrial heritage and meet their architects.

You are invited to join us at the site on Sunday 26th June 11:00-16:00.

Taming Time

Remediation to Harmonious Use

Rose Nicholson

View Project

A Continuous Narrative of Industry

An investigation into how conservation philosophy can implement a future for the industrial history of Wales

Jordan Grady

View Project

Institute for the South Wales Coalfield

Art, Science and Community foundation for the archiving and reimagining of the hidden assets of the South Welsh Coalfield

Alexander McCormick

View Project

Redefining the User Group

How can we design a scheme which holistically considers the needs of all users of a site, human, fauna and

Madeleine Rogers

View Project

‘Domesticity’ and Maggie’s Centres

Investigating the Role of ‘Domesticity’ in Healthcare Settings

Madeleine Rogers

View Project

Crumlin Power

Energy storage facility in Crumlin, Wales

Rowan Luckman

View Project

A Low Carbon Future for Crumlin Navigation Colliery

The creation of Intergenerational Links; supporting the conservation of built heritage

Niamh Thornton

View Project

Industrial Renewal

An Adaptive Reuse Project: Revitalising low-carbon industry on the site of Crumlin Navigation Colliery

Emily Chance-Hill

View Project