Landscape architecture, garden design, planting design and management - Rowland Byass
Centenary Park

The retreat of heavy industry leaves behind scarred and contaminated landscapes. Strangely enough these places can become extremely valuable wildlife habitats. This site along the river Don between Sheffield and Rotherham such a place.

Design proposals for Centenary Park take the problem of a heavily altered, polluted riverside landscape and attempt to turn it into an asset, combining nature conservation, flood attenuation, leisure and education. Influenced by German post-industrial parks like the famous Duisberg Nord, this former steelworks site becomes a giant earth sculpture of pyramid landforms and a chain of wetlands and basins that absorb floodwater to prevent flooding further downstream.

The design concept for the site is inspired by ancient monumental landforms and the aesthetic of ruins. Instead of retreating into the picturesque as a way of masking the scars of industry, the strategy of creating monumental landforms to be colonized by vegetation, acknowledges the reality of the site and its history.