Author: Frances Williams
Tutors: Pierre d’Avoine- Colette Sheddick
School: The Sir John Cass School of Art, Architecture and Design, London Metropolitan University
This project speculates on the idea that the Peak District’s landscape provides the mental escapism and solitary remediation that is therapeutically beneficial for the recently transitioned prisoner. ‘Transition Ladybower’ embraces both the known and the unknown of this manufactured ‘wilderness’ to propose a halfway house, rehabilitation centre and agricultural educational facility on the edge of Ladybower Reservoir.
The project thus explores the potential and beauty of Ladybower Reservoir in the Peak District National Park, interpreting the landscape as a fragment of artifice, almost devoid of people and romanticised as a place of mystique. The drawings presented in this collection are a part of a wider thesis which conducts intensive research into the psychology of the landscape itself, while relating it to the notion of ‘Wilderness’ as representing the forest as an opportunity for a mental escapism from the urbane. This idea relates to this landscape as providing a solitary experience which could be restorative in the short term.
The overarching aim for this proposal is to establish an alternative to the UK’s current inmate rehabilitation programme, as well as providing an antithesis to the rigour and architectural structure of the design of the prison environment by uncovering what the landscape of Ladybower has to offer. The building’s design attempts to investigate the relationship between exterior and interior and the importance of light as a sensory improver.
The drawings themselves include extracts from a series of Indian Miniature inspired drawings referring to a wider commentary on the definition of ‘National Park’ by attempting to undo the ‘artificially’ created nature of this man-made landscape by going against the ‘grid’.