Type:           Strategy

Location:   Portland, Dorset


A vision for a new housing community in a disused quarry on the island of Portland in Dorset.

When once the character of our towns resulted from locally available resources and skills, today materials for our carbon hungry buildings travel from afar. The island of Portland is synonymous with the limestone that lies in abundance underground, that embodies its history and offers a low carbon building material of the future.

Bedrock is a new model for bio-regional housing on Portland, made from stone waste in a redundant quarry. It has a positive circular vision of extraction and renewal, upcycling Albion Stone’s Admiralty Quarry by carefully balancing the need for new homes with ecological restoration. Sheltered from the infamous Portland wind, ‘downscrapers’ are embedded within the dramatic topography of the rewilded landscape. Residents live in harmony with the rare butterflies and wildflowers that thrive on the exposed limestone surfaces.

Inspired by Kate Raworth’s Doughnut Economics, Bedrock is borne out of the material and social ecosystem of the island. The stone demonstrator hamlet is constructed with locally sourced stone and seaweed, creating jobs and upskilling residents in the process to rekindle indigenous stonemasonry knowledge. It enhances the social, environmental and economic ecosystem of Portland, outlining a vision of an ecologically and socially just neighbourhood.
Bedrock is a model for affordable homes that reinforce a sense of community through their spatial planning, and by providing generous shared spaces that prioritise collective living at a reduced cost to attract a younger demographic. A series of common spaces on each floor accommodate a collective kitchen and dining space, workspace, spare room and storage, while a launderette, tool share, post room, workshop and large gathering space are provided for all users of the building.
Repurposing stone offcuts, homes are constructed with vaulted ceilings as part of a skills programme to create jobs in the local community. Flexibility is built into the plan to allow homes to expand over time, by pairing kitchens and through soft spots in living spaces. These open onto a shared terrace with dramatic views over the rewilded quarry landscape.
Team Lead - Artefact
Quarry - Albion Stone PLC
Neighbourhood Strategy - Civic Square
Landscape and Ecology - JCLA
Structure - Webb Yates
Cultural and Arts Programme - B-Side

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