Site 1: Waun Las
'A Whimsical Gatehouse'
This scheme sought to deal with the problems of the old gate separating the Botanical Gardens from its more natural surroundings of the Waun Las Nature Reserve. It proposed a gatehouse be built as an entrance and focal point to the extended area, drawing influence from similar traditional structures as seen around Wales including Port Meirion. The scheme aimed to be light hearted and fun for visitors, standing at 11.5 metres tall and built with Green Oak timber frame with stone on the ground floor and Limewash on the exterior. A quirky element of the design incorporated a drying rack for flowers and herbs that people could use and learn about the natural flora in the area from.
Site 2: Kids Play Area
'The Dovecote of Myddfai in the Mabinogion Play Area'
This scheme sought to consolidate the play area for kids and make it more fun and exciting to be in. Paths were realigned and a 'physician's tower' based on the famous Welsh stories of the Physicians of Myddfai was the key design proposal. Also built with a Green Oak timber frame this playful tower sought to incorporate a mix of staircases, a slide and a viewing tower so that children could take in the surroundings of the Welsh countryside and the botanical gardens. An enterprising aspect of this scheme was that it would link in with the gift shop, selling merchandise to children on Welsh stories, incorporate story telling and link with the apothecaries that are currently down in Gardens at Millenium Square.
Site 3: The Performance Area
The scheme for this sought to bring a new use to a now relatively unused space in the Gardens. Sitting adjacent to Millennium Square this octagonal structure spanning 8 meters in diameter would act as a flexible performance space for a range of events in the Gardens, bringing in revenue and promoting Welsh culture. The roof incorporated a tall spire clad in Welsh slate with some iron detailing at the top. The internal roof structure was indesigned so as to ensure acoustic audibility from the inside out and across the site. The idea that it sat on the lowest point of the site lent to the idea of it functioning like an amphitheatre, projecting sound out across the gardens during some of the bigger performances that take place. A tiled mosaic of a Welsh Celtic Design of the tree of life would give a focus to the structure and tie into the rich botanical, natural and Celtic history of Wales.