Catherine Bower


Seaweed is a natural product with incredible properties that is starting to be utilised increasingly in today’s climate; with local offshore farms beginning to sprout up in Cornwall, the Par Horticultural Seaweed Centre is both a processing plant for horticultural seaweed products and a community space for locals and tourists alike. While distributing these amazing products across the country it was also important to ensure that the project also gave back to the community, with spaces for events, a beautiful garden to enjoy and tourist attractions to experience; bringing people together in Cornwall and providing a new route for income in one of the most impoverished counties in England. Each “wing” of the dock represents the two areas of both ‘production’ and ‘community,’ combining in their use and processing of seaweed.  

Gradient aims to provide a small-scale response to the excessive use of single-use plastics. The design focuses on the production of bioplastic food packaging made from locally harvested seaweed. The project is placed in Par, a fishing port on the south coast of Cornwall.  

It was important to showcase the bioplastic manufacturing process to the public throughout. The workings of the process were made visible externally and some parts were made directly accessible.  

The plans followed a grid system set up using the parameters of the existing building on site and the site dimensions itself. Where these grids overlap creates moments of two sections meeting and merging, reflected in the overlap between the visitors’ and the industrial spaces.  

The contrasting nature of the requirements for each step in the bioplastic process created a project with two distinct material languages. The thick walls of the rammed earth contrast with the transparent nature of a steel skeleton structure. 

The overall project creates the view of strikingly different materials alongside each other, but that are tied together through a cohesive grid pattern and roofscape. The public and industrial spaces have opportunity to interact, while also having spaces directly allocated for their intended use. 



Instagram: _cath.arch_ 



Introduced in the heart of Reading Town, Hogmanay, the Scottish celebration of New Years, brings a large infusion of culture and festivity to the local area. Cock-a-Leekie soup, being an integral cuisine of the Scottish, accompanies the festivities. The influx of Hogmanay culture, introduced by the arrival of the Soup Facility, will indulge Reading in a host of traditions that seek to bring people together to celebrate the New Year and the fresh start that follows midnight. On New Year’s Eve in Readingthe public are invited to join in the activitiesincluding; farming the ingredients for the soup, trying the soup, setting Juniper branches alight at midnight, Ceilidh dancing, drinking homemade Gin, and the chance to watch as the chefs produce the soup from raw ingredients on site.  

Cock a Leekie , Scotland, Timber, Homemade, Feathers, New years