19 March 2011

Airplot Embassy for Greenpeace - Heathrow Third Runway Competition

Studio 425 members John Inglis and Ellie Redmill collaborated on the Airplot Design Contest for Greenpeace.

The Airplot is a plot of land in the village of Sipson, which was bought by Greenpeace in opposition to the third runway proposals at Heathrow. The site is directly in the path of the proposed third runway and the brief called for a fortress of opposition, from which protesters could resist eviction.
The Studio 425 design for the Airplot proposed a campaign embassy, that was part campaign headquarters and part legal fortress. Rather than rely on physical barriers to eviction, which can be sabotaged or removed, we incorporated biodiversity and protected habitats into the building and landscape, thereby adding multiple layers of legal protection and complexity.

The proposed Airplot building included bat boxes on the roof, a surrounding moat suitable for great crested newt habitat and the boundaries were design as bramble habitat for dormice. All of these species are listed as protected species under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, which means their habitats cannot be disturbed without following a lengthy and expensive survey procedure.

To find out more about biodiversity in architecture, email studio425@london.com