Zaha Hadid Architects designing smart city outside of Moscow

Moscow’s new Rublyovo-Arkhangelskoye district, designed by Zaha Hadid Architects and Pride Architects, will be a “people-centric” sustainable smart city. Located to the west of Russia’s capital city, the 460-hectare site will be turned into a mixed residential, business and culture hub.

“We developed a people-centric design for a smart interconnected city that brings people together not only through innovative technology but also through organising the public realm,” said Christos Passas, project director at Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA).

ZHA alongside Pride Architects – a studio based in Russia – consulted studies about happiness whilst master planning the district, concluding that building communities, access to nature and environmentally friendly design were key factors.

ZHA has proposed a staged development process, so residents can become adjusted to the new technology and integrate properly. Over a third of the smart city will be given over to parkland and forest, with a large lake in the centre.

Moscow’s population currently stands at 12.4 million, an increase of 30% in the past 20 years. The new district is designed to ease the pressure without curtailing the city’s growth.

Rublyovo-Arkhangelskoye will be able to house 66,500 new residents when complete. It will also provide 800,000 square metres of office space for Moscow’s growing financial consulting, legal and auditing sectors.

It will be connected to Moscow via a 12 mile metro line. The railway will begin construction in 2020 and connect to Moscow’s Shelepikha interchange station.


Plan for £250m urban village on Newcastle Quayside

North Yorkshire developer Newby has lodged outline plans to deliver 1,500 homes, a hotel and more than 110,000 sq ft of commercial, community and leisure space along Newcastle Quayside in the city.

Its planned urban village on the former Calders site on Skinnerburn Road would be phased over 10 years and sustain around 260 construction jobs each year.

Designed by architects Faulkner Browns, the Newcastle regeneration scheme would consist of around 15 blocks from three to 19 storeys high. Plans include building a new east/west spine road through the site.

Site enabling works could start as early as next spring with the first plots ready for construction by the autumn of 2019.

Nick Moody, director at Newby said: “Our development team has worked hard to devise proposals which will make Quayside West an attractive place to live, work and visit.

“The site is well-located and our design will ensure that it connects to the city centre, the River Tyne and wider area. As a result, Quayside West could act as the catalyst for the council’s exciting plans to redevelop the Forth Yards area.

“It is clear that people want to see this derelict site brought back into use.”

Shenzhen is building a mile-long superhighway for trees

When it’s completed in 2020, Qianhai will be a district of shimmering skyscrapers designed to function as a new business-focused district within Shenzhen–the city largely responsible for manufacturing the world’s smartphones and other electronics. The new neighborhood is being built from the ground up with almost 280 million square feet of business development space meant to serve as the entrepreneurial bridge between Hong Kong and Shenzhen.

But the company behind the development, Shenzhen Qianhai Development and Investment Holding Co., is trying to protect at least some green space for its denizens, so it tapped Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners to design an elevated sky garden that runs nearly a mile through the district’s buildings. The project sits on a subtle gradient, moving pedestrians from the ground level to a skyscraper (also developed by the firm) in the city center.

The idea is that the sky garden will serve as the top layer of the city’s transportation infrastructure. Below ground, commuters can take trains. On the street level, they can walk or drive. But up above they’ll find a casually paced public space, to be filled with regular events and best experienced at a slower gait.

Elevated gardens are all the rage in cities across the world. But unlike projects like the High Line, Qianhai’s sky garden is built from scratch, rather than serving as an adaptive reuse project upon old infrastructure. It has a downright formalist feel–a strong, geometric profile that connects the harbor and the architecture directly–rather than flowing organically through the city. According to lead architect Stephen Spence, that was precisely the point.

“Given the diversity of the buildings emerging within the Qianhai area, our preference was for a simple, bold, and confident insertion into the existing master plan,” says Spence. “The formality derives from the existing road grid and building plots, combined with our desire to maximize the area of raised green park linking the city to the bay. It creates a new horizon against which people can orientate.”


Bam to join team at RHS Garden Bridgewater

Bam is set to be chosen to deliver the Hodder + Partners-designed Welcome Building at RHS Garden Bridgewater as work on the society’s first new garden in nearly two decades begins to ramp up.

Bam is understood to have been picked as main contractor for the Welcome Building, with work set to start early next year, while contractor AE Yates is already on site carrying out highways, infrastructure and enabling works. Other contractors working on the site also include PP O’Connor.

The 154-acre project will be the RHS’s fifth UK garden, and secured planning approval in June last year after the Government confirmed it would not call in the plans. It had previously been approved by Salford City Council but had to be run past the Government owing to the site’s green belt nature.

Bam is set to start next year on the Welcome Building, and the garden is set to open in summer 2020. The timber-clad and glazed building features a plant shop, gift shop, and café, as well as a green roof and views of the garden’s new lake.

The garden, being built on the site of the former Worsley New Hall, also features an 11-acre walled garden designed by landscape architect Tom Stuart-Smith. Barton Willmore is planning consultant for the project with Arcadis as project manager and Roc Consulting. The site was formerly owned by Peel Land & Property but was purchased by Salford City Council, and will be leased to the RHS for 999 years.

Heritage buildings within the site are due to be restored and repurposed, including the Hall’s former potting sheds and historic terraces.

The RHS is hoping to attract around 600,000 to 700,000 visitors to the garden by 2029.


Century-old railyard to be reborn as leisure eco-park

A long-abandoned railyard in Lakeland, Florida will soon be granted a second life as forested recreational zone and cultural ‘oasis’.

Set to be designed by landscape architects Sasaki, the soon-to-be regenerated property, dubbed Bonnet Springs Park (BSP), will see the presently arsenic-contaminated and non-pedestrian site transform into a 180-acre environmentally friendly public attraction.

According to the BSP team, a central purpose of the park’s nature and leisure-focused facilities – which will include walking trails, wetland gardens, two multiroom events halls, a boating station, cafe, and children’s museum – will be to support mental health by creating “opportunities to experience nature in new and unexpected ways”.

Visitors will also be able to participate in a number of programmes which will focus both on the natural and social history of the greater Lakeland area.

In a statement, Sasaki said: “The park’s mission is to become an ecological jewel, a cultural magnet, and a connected community asset for this rapidly growing region.”

They added: “The range of activities planned for the park will support physical and social equity for all park visitors in an effort to reinforce shared experiences and forge new connections within this growing and changing community.”

Construction of the new destination, which will involve extensive remediation and reshaping of the site’s undeveloped areas, is expected to be completed in 2020.


Charcon strengthens specification team with appointment

Charcon Hard Landscaping, a division of Aggregate Industries, has strengthened its specification team by appointing Oli Magnuson, who boasts over fifteen years’ experience in the landscaping industry.

An experienced Landscape Architect and Design Manager, Oli brings with him a wealth of experience across design and architecture. Reporting to National Specification Manager Clinton Young, Oli will be responsible for managing specifications for existing clients and developing new relationships.

Oli said: “I’m extremely excited about the new role and to be working for a well-respected industry leader. I’m looking forward to meeting people with a similar professional interest to myself, as well as being involved with a variety of projects at any one time. I’m hoping my background in design and architecture will be enormously valuable to my clients when it comes to product specification and I hope to exceed their expectations on every aspect of their project.

“It was an easy decision to join the Aggregate Industries family and the Charcon team. There is huge potential to grow within the business and learn from highly-respected individuals within the organisation. I’m looking forward to getting stuck in over the next 12 months.”

Mark Barter, Sales Director for Charcon, said: “We have invested heavily in a robust specification and territory sales team over the years which now operate across the UK, reflecting our commitment to offer a more dedicated and personal service to our clients.”

Charcon offers the commercial sector a comprehensive range of paving, natural stone, kerbing and drainage via its hard landscaping product range. It is also able to offer a full design and support service from project concept to completion, and provides innovative and integrated solutions for architects, civil engineers, landscape professionals, house builders and contractors in almost every aspect of the construction industry.


Expanding horizons: sampling the 2018 landscape architecture awards

The 2018 national awards is a celebration of what landscape architecture can do and be, demonstrating a diverse range of ideas, tools and approaches to meet the challenges of tomorrow.
The recently announced 2018 National Landscape Architecture Awards are testament to the power of creative design thinking in the realm of open space and the public domain. Across 14 categories, 38 projects were awarded, for helping to address and improve the future quality of our streets and public squares, gardens and wetlands, parks and play spaces, rivers and creeks that surround us all.
This year’s list of winners reveals how good design can positively impact the health, resilience and quality of our built environment. With the release of ever more urgent recommendations from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, it is clear that landscape architects are doing everything in their power to create environments that are both resilient and sustainable. As the Jury Chair, Sara Padgett Kjaersgaard notes, “Collectively, the awarded projects provide a clear message of sensitive, thoughtful and ambitious responses, to repairing and improving natural systems of unique Australia landscapes at a time of increasing urbanisation and climate variation.”
Nowhere is there a keener awareness of the changes happening in climate and natural systems, than in the low lying islands within the Pacific Ocean. The winner of the international prize is an urban planning project undertaken by Jacobs, which aims to mitigate the impact of sea level rise, brought about by frequent storm surge inundation. The reclamation of 300 hectares of land from the sea offers hope to 35,000 people within the nation of Kiribati, as they are relocated two meters above predicted 2200 ocean levels.

We are also seeing plant species, right across the globe, threatened by volatility and change in temperature and rain levels. Plantbank, by 360 Degrees Landscape Architects, is a landscape created around the largest collection of plant seeds in the country. It stores over 100 million seeds, representing a cross section of Australia’s flora. The landscape design reinforces this endeavour, serving as a salient reminder of the value of native flora, in maintaining landscape systems and community identity.

This task of protecting and conserving our ecological heritage is taken up by the winners of the landscape planning award, Site Office. Their Chain of Ponds Action Plan addresses the real issues faced, in restoring the somewhat degraded Moonee Ponds creek. It builds on previous analytical studies of the creek, and provides the opportunity to inform and influence others, including both local and state government.

While perhaps not as visually compelling as large-scale implemented landscape projects, the role of research and detailed analysis is clearly critical, in a time of opinions, bots and online rants. The future decisions we make about our environment must be supported by sound research and analysis. “Many awarded projects displayed evidence of a research component that provides rigour to built outcomes,” says Kjaersgaard. “Notably, the jury were impressed that green infrastructure, across the country, is becoming embedded into projects as the norm.”

As winner of the Research, Policy and Communications prize, Simon Kilbane’s work on the Green Infrastructure National Green Network is particularly notable. The jury was struck by this exploration of the spatial implications of environmental policies, which aim to safeguard Australia’s biodiversity. As the jury report states, “The project is big in both scale and ambition and pushes the established boundaries of the profession, utilising a flexible research methodology that is applied, from the continental scale to the local scale”.

Alongside research and statistical analysis, another important source of knowledge for landscape architects is the knowledge carried in the lives and experiences of local people. Communities have a key role in the decision-making and custodianship of future landscapes. The Perth-based practice UDLA picked up two awards for projects that go the extra mile in engaging diverse communities. Newman Town Centre is a significant revitalisation project, transforming a hardstand carpark into a 2,600 square metre civic plaza that is now home to a significant shade-giving tree canopy.

The community’s sense of ownership and ongoing direction has been supported by a robust Place Management Plan led by the landscape architects. The project demonstrates how urban landscapes contribute to the mental and social health and wellbeing of a regional community.

In addition, UDLA’s Place of Healing exemplifies deep listening, and the role of landscape architects in providing a holistic ‘People and Place’ approach to visioning. The project demonstrates how landscape architecture can, and often should, go beyond spatial design, in developing a deep understanding of Indigenous planning, management and cultural heritage visioning, as well as intergenerational cultural healing.

This kind of learning from Indigenous communities is vitally important, further signaled by the appointment of Aboriginal landscape architect Paul Herzich (Kaurna/Ngarrindjeri) to the national jury and the adoption of AILA’s first Reconciliation Action Plan in 2018. As Kjaersgaard says of UDLA’s winning projects, “this way of working, cross-culturally, towards the co-production of knowledge must become central to the work that landscape architects do”.

More widely, the role of landscape architecture in promoting the health and well-being of all citizens is exemplified in the winner of the Infrastructure prize: the Darebin Yarra Trail Link. This project was undertaken by the VicRoads, in a collaborative team that brought together their Urban Design and Structural Design teams. As noted in a recent Foreground article, the project promotes active transport, while the design sensitively integrates the constructed elements with the environment.

Of course, no built environment is complete without spaces and places designed for children and young people. Bungarribee by JMD is an award-winning play space that frames and celebrates the existing natural landscape of the site, allowing visitors to appreciate the striking landscape of repaired grasslands, the big open sky and distant views, while hinting at the pastoral and industrial past of the site.

Children are not, however, the only people who like to play. The new Perth Stadium precinct, designed by HASSELL, proved to be a great opportunity to transform a previously underutilised site into a vibrant community precinct and new gateway to the city of Perth. This project brings together play spaces, community engagement and Indigenous collaboration, within the context of a major new piece of city-building. Extensive engagement with the local Indigenous community and others has led to the inclusion of six zones, representing the local Indigenous Noongar seasons. Each zone incorporates different plants, local materials, nature-play themes, art and educational signage in interesting and diverse ways.

Together these projects, and many more awarded on the night, reflect a profession of landscape architecture that is expanding its horizons. The challenges we face in the years and decades ahead will not be met by simply deploying past knowledge and known techniques. Those involved in designing and delivering tomorrow’s cities – from pocket parks to city-changing stadia – need to adapt and embrace new research, adopt new tools and build stronger networks within a wider of professionals and community alike.

The awards kick off a weekend of events and activities during the International Festival of Landscape Architecture, this year taking place on the Gold Coast. At the centre of that festival in the 2018 AILA conference, entitled The Expanding Field: Charting the Future of Practice. It’s safe to say from this year’s landscape architecture awards, that future practice has already begun.


Finalists announced for Landscape Institute Awards 2018

Shortlist of best in landscape architecture, design, planning and management ahead of the Landscape Institute Awards 2018 ceremony.
The Landscape Institute announces the shortlist of finalists for the Landscape Institute Awards 2018The projects showcase the breadth of exceptional work of the many different types of landscape professionalsThis includes landscape designers, managers, planners and researchers and the power landscape has to impact people’s lives.
Over 160 entries came from around the world and the winners will receive their award at the ceremony on Thursday 22 November at The Brewery in London. The event recognises and celebrates excellence, innovation and creativity. It heralds practitioners working in both the natural and built-environments.
New York Times best-selling author and journalist Florence Williams will be the keynote speaker. The awards compere is broadcast journalist and BBC London radio contributor, Ebs Akintade. This event aims to highlight the innovative work by the landscape profession across the UK and internationally.

Dan Cook, CEO of the Landscape Institute, said:

“The Landscape Institute’s Awards really push the boundaries of landscape design. They bring together professionals from the entire sector to collaborate and inspire. They demonstrate what is unique about the profession, which focuses in creating places that benefit people, place and natureInterestingly, one of the common themes this year across many entries is the importance placed on community engagement and is symbolic of the values held by the next generation of the profession.”

Adam White, president of the Landscape Institute said:

“We have had an impressive number of entries this year, of an incredibly high calibre, totalling 163 applicationsThe shortlisted projects range from small but creative UK projects, to innovative international designsWith 21 different categories in the awards, there is great diversity in the approachesAs a landscape design professional myself, it is hugely satisfying to see the contrasts in the design, planning and management across the 36 projects. I wish the finalists the very best of luck at the awards ceremony.”

Mathew Haslam, managing director of Hardscape, headline sponsor of the Awards, comments:

“We’re proud to show our continued support for the Landscape Institute as the headline sponsor of this year’s awards event. We’re really looking forward to the awards ceremony. It promises to be a great event, allowing us all to celebrate some of the most outstanding work the industry has delivered over the past year.”

Shortlist of finalists:

  • Mill Lane and De Montfort University Public Realm, AECOM

The new design of the main pedestrian spine running through De Montfort University in Leicester promotes walking and cycling, and the rain gardens support ecology and managing water.
  • Neighbourhood Planning Support Services Heritage and Character Assessment, AECOM

Since 2015, AECOM have provided a national programme of technical support to groups engaged in preparing neighbourhood plansThis project draws specifically on the delivery of over 50 Heritage and Character Assessments, which apply the best of local landscape planning practice.
  • Quarry Garden in Shanghai Chenshan Botanical Garden, Beijing Tsinghua Tongheng Urban Planning & Design Institute

Inspired by the concept of “Taoyuan” (an ideal paradigm of East Asian natural landscape), the quarry creates a series of attractions, re-establishing the connection between human beings and natural wasteland which is integrated with the adjacent botanical garden.
  • Connecting Burton and the Trent Washlands, A New Vision, Black and Veatch Ltd

Combining Ecosystems Services Valuations, and more traditional heritage and landscape techniques, including hand-drawn visualisations, to connect Burton to the Trent Washlands in Staffordshire.
  • Seething Lane Gardens, Ten Trinity Square, Capita Lovejoy

Facilitating the reuse of the listed Ten Trinity Square in London, which was at risk due to inoccupancy, a pocket park was created that balances the needs of people, environment, heritage and townscape.
  • Northstowe Healthy Living and Youth & Play Strategy, Chris Blandford Associates

Delivered in three phases, Northstowe in Cambridgeshire will eventually provide 10,000 new homes for around 25,000 people and provides guidance on how to embed healthy living and play into the design of green infrastructure.
  • South Gardens, Elephant Park, Churchman Landscape Architects

This design provides a case study of the residential landscape as an urban sanctuary in London, which places the community, wellness and ecology at its hear, with communal courtyards and the incorporation of green roofs.
  • Residential Regeneration at Poole Park Road, Barne Barton, Plymouth, Clifton Emery Design

Plans are underway to transform the site of the largest naval estate in the UK, introducing a mixture of flats, houses and community spaces that create sustainable and vibrant places to live.
  • Rice Garden in Shanghai, China, Department of Landscape Architecture, Tongji University

This temporary agricultural garden is constructed on the same rice field every year while maintaining the land’s productivityThe design changes annually, making it an ongoing experience, which if monitored each season, could help to better understand the interaction of people with different open spaces.
  • The Block, desert INK/Desert Group

The Block provides a great example of how site-found waste materials can be successfully used to create both character and function within a public landscape in Dubai.
  • Gunnersbury Park, Ealing Council

A practical hands-on approach and strong community outreach has restored the 18th century park’s listed structures and tree lines in West London.
  • Wangjing SOHO Parks – Creating A New Green Urban Hub, Ecoland Planning and Design Corporate

This park is a backyard oasis in which people can interact with each other and with nature, making it a pinnacle destination for local workers and residents in the booming Wangjing district of Beijing.
  • Royal Edinburgh Hospital, erz

This project provides accessible, therapeutic spaces throughout the campus and combines landscape and architecture to provide social and health benefits through access to high-quality landscape in Scotland’s capital city.
  • Maritime Streets, Farrer Huxley Associates

Barrow in Furness has a rich industrial heritage, but the decline in traditional industry has resulted in a degraded landscape around Maritime StreetsThe brief was to improve the public realm, creating a landscape that would that kick-start economic and social growth.
  • Piece Hall, Gillespies LLP

Built in 1779, the Grade I listed Piece Hall in Halifax, in Yorkshire, is the sole survivor of the great 18th century northern cloth hallsThe transformation project was undertaken as a sensitive restoration and re-use of the courtyard, after it escaped demolition by a single vote in 1972.
  • Forest of Imagination, Grant Associates

A temporary annual transformation of a public space in Bath made from borrowed, found or recycled materials as a way of highlighting the importance of sustainability.
  • Bushey New Cemetery, J & L Gibbons

The design aimed to alter the perception of the building cluster by seamlessly integrating new prayer halls, a mortuary, parking and burial space into the London landscape.
  • London Borough of Barking and Dagenham Parks and Open Spaces Strategy and Corporate Natural Capital Accounts, Jon Sheaff and Associates

Aiming to develop a new parks and open spaces strategy for this London borough, the project recognised the significant challenges faced by the council and the opportunities presented by good-quality parks in delivering positive outcomes for communities and for the borough as a whole.
  • Landscape Architecture & Environmental Sustainability, Joshua Zeunert

The book uses before, during and after imagery to communicate the temporal aspects of landscape architecture sustainability and the importance of process and time.
  • Thamesmead, Land Management Services

Over the next 20 to 30 years, it is anticipated that Thamesmead Estate in East London will be transformed, with a commitment by Peabody to invest an estimated £1bn in housing, green spaces, waterways and promoting economic prosperity.
  • Brompton Cemetery Conservation Project, LDA Design

The four-year, £6.2m ‘Parks for People’ restoration project has revealed hidden architectural gems, revitalising Benjamin Baud’s and J.C. Loudon’s original garden cemetery design in West London.
  • Aberfeldy phases 1 and 2, Levitt Bernstein

Providing more than 1,000 affordable new homes set around new green spaces and using pedestrian and cycle strategies to break down the barriers of the A13 and A12 highways in Highland Perthshire.
  • Eastfields, Levitt Bernstein

The concept in Mitcham in Surrey has been to turn the existing estate ‘inside out’, reallocating green space and reducing the current feeling of isolation expressed by residents.
  • Cassiobury Park, LUC

This park was the last surviving portion of the great country seat of the Earls of Essex. The project aimed to restore and reveal the lost character and features of this 380-year-old designed landscape, while also revitalising the ‘People’s Park’.
  • Landscape Sensitivity and Green Infrastructure Study for Leicester & Leicestershire, LUC

This project links landscape sensitivity and green infrastructure studies to provide weighty and robust evidence to allow the county and local planning authorities to be proactive rather than reactive in accommodating future development.
  • Beech Gardens and The High Walk, Barbican Estate, Nigel Dunnett Studio

By completely replanting the podium level at Beech Gardens and the High Walk in the Barbican Estate, this project aimed to create an exemplar of sustainable climate-adapted urban landscape planting.
  • The Dunbar Battery, Rankinfraser Landscape Architecture

Undertaking the regeneration of the battery, on Scotland’s south east coast, along with the creation of a new public gathering space to promote education and public art, while also conserving a listed building.
  • Bluegreen Liverpool, reShaped

Bluegreen built interventions to engage people through their own curiosity, creating talking points and inspiring actionConnections were developed during design workshops and walks, involving over 400 members of the public.
  • Exmoor’s Ambition, Rural Focus

Pre-empting the impact of Brexit on the future for food, farming and the environment, the project’s focus lies in incentivising all the public benefits of the countryside such as healthy food and soils, flourishing nature and enterprising businesses.
  • Environmental Improvement Project at Kranji Marshes, Stephen Caffyn Landscape Design

Promoting awareness of biodiversity through nature experiences, interpretive signage, environmental sculptural elements, this site is now home to more than 170 species of birds, including nationally-threatened species such as the grey-headed fish eagle in Singapore.
  • Learning Forest, Singapore Botanic Gardens, Stephen Caffyn Landscape Design

An educational rainforest experience in the heart of the city with canopy walkways, wetland boardwalks and stepping stones.
  • Met Science Park, Stride Treglown

In this Devonshire project the planting provides a habitat for wildlife using a planting palette of native grasses and willow, with a focus on pollinating insects and a symbiosis with planting.
  • Le Jardin Secret, Marrakech, Tom Stuart-Smith Ltd

This project divides the garden into two contrasting spaces, each representing a different version of heavenOne strictly follows garden-making principles in the Islamic tradition while the Exotic Garden has a contemporary character, with species drawn from Mediterranean regions.
  • Shadwell Estate, Turkington Martin

Creating a sense of identity for the whole London estate and to improve access to green space, by developing a ‘garden’ for the residents and providing a series of formal and informal social spaces.
  • Wandle Vistas, Untitled Practice Ltd and Fiona Fyfe Associates

Celebrating the under-represented qualities of Surrey’s Wandle Valley, from downland to delta and offering community-inspired legacy, including the training of local volunteers.
  • St Helen’s Moorish-stitch, Urban Wilderness

A garden for the Bloom! Festival in York, which celebrated 250 years of the Ancient Society of York Florists. The planting was inspired by the North York Moors with a modular ‘stitch’ pattern, referencing fashion design.
The Landscape Institute Awards 2018 will take pace that The Brewery in London on Thursday 22 November 2018. For tickets, click here.

Find MEDITE SMARTPLY at Futurescape 2018

This year, MEDITE SMARTPLY will be bringing MTX to Futurescape 2018, the leading UK landscape event. Find the company at stand B1 at Sandown Park Racecourse, Esher, on Tuesday 20 November 2018.
In a recent test of the uses of MTX, MEDITE SMARTPLY teamed up with Bakers Timber Buildings. This was to supply materials for their high-end, custom-made garden rooms. These outdoor spaces are usable year-round thanks to their insulation and durability gained from MTX. Another MEDITE solution, MEDITE MR was also used.
Bakers Timber Buildings discovered MTX after using MEDITE MR, a moisture resistant MDF. This was for internal walls and ceilings of their executive garden rooms. After testing MTX as an external product, the company began using it for cladding and trims on their buildings.
Creating such high-quality timber buildings in the outdoors presents challenges. Shifts in temperature and moisture require timber materials to have high core strength and durability. Achieving a quality finish requires materials with great machining qualities and a smooth surface finish.
MTX helps maintain the integrity of the buildings, which are subject to seasonal changesFor external cladding, MTX gives a protection against harsh weather, for up to 50 years.
The design and machining flexibility of MTX and its smooth surface texture were key reasons for its specification.

Martin, managing director of Bakers Timber Buildings said:

“Painted timber will look rustic very quickly. When looking for products to paint, MTX was an obvious choice. It gave us peace of mind in terms of weather resistance.
“MTX carries a guarantee of durability that I can pass on to my clients with confidence. It allows us to offer a 10-year guarantee on our buildings with almost no maintenance.”
“The MTX panels are very impressive. How well they machine, paint and stand up to weather and moisture variation outdoors. It was an added bonus as well that all MEDITE panels are from sustainable FSC certified forests. This means that the products align with our company’s sustainability policy.”
Register for free tickets to Futurescape 2018 here:
Keep up with Bakers Timber Buildings at:

Mayor offers waterfront plan to save Boston from rising seas

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh unveiled a plan Wednesday to transform the city’s waterfront to protect the low-lying, extensively landfilled city from climate change and rising sea levels.

The Democratic mayor’s “Resilient Boston Harbor” plan calls for the creation of 67 acres (27 hectares) of new open space and the restoration of 122 acres (49 hectares) of tidal areas and parklands to serve as natural buffers during major floods.

The plan also proposes elevating flood-prone areas along the city’s 47-miles (75-kilometers) of shoreline, such as Main Street in historic Charlestown and downtown’s popular Harborwalk.

Walsh said the potential damage from rising sea levels would far outweigh the cost of the proposed investments, which The Boston Globe reports could approach $1bn over the next decades.

A 2016 city report projected sea levels around Boston could rise 36 inches (91 centimeters) by 2070, affecting some 90,000 residents, 12,000 buildings and potentially causing more than $14bn in economic losses.

Walsh urged the local business community to step up as he unveiled the plan at a Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce meeting.

“Wherever you are in Boston, the ability of your employees to get to work and the ability of your suppliers to make deliveries are at risk,” Walsh said in his prepared remarks.

Local environmental group the Charles River Watershed Association said Walsh’s proposal was “commendable” but that other steps need to be considered, such as more stringent requirements on developers to design their buildings with climate change and rising seas in mind.

The Trustees of Reservations, another local conservation group, applauded the mayor’s promise to devote 10 percent of the city’s annual capital budget to climate change projects.

Walsh said the city is also seeking federal support for some of the projects, including $10 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for flood mitigation measures in the rapidly developing Seaport District that’s home to General Electric, Reebok and other companies.

And he said the city has committed about $11m from the sale of a parking garage to expand the Emerald Necklace, a series of connected parklands designed by the landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted.

But Walsh’s plan deliberately doesn’t include much-discussed plans for a massive barrier across Boston Harbor that could cost $12bn and take 30 years to build.

“Instead of walling off our harbor, we need to work with it,” he said. “Shoreline projects are more feasible and more effective ways to increase our city’s resilience.”