Projects

Eudaimon: Reimagining 50 Stokes Croft

Synopsis

Through a process of public engagement Eudaimon (brothers Jak and Roberto Ollett) were commissioned to create a new public art work for the Stokes Croft area of Bristol. Since 2009 they have been developing a design with an underlying desire "to deepen our collective notion of community though manifesting urban ecology, and to create a space in which interdependent organisms of different species interact in a newly created urban habitat."

Description

Euidaimon's approach to urban design is based upon three central ideas: 1. ecology, 2. a contemporary interpretation of the philosophical concept of eudaimonia &, 3. urban acupuncture. These ideas are employed to balances human tendencies toward technological interventions whilst creating a sustainable ecology in the city. In the case of this specific project, they make use of art and architecture to subtly inspire a notion of sustainability within the Stokes Croft locality.

Eudaimon's design makes use of sustainable materials, methods and ideas to promote a healthy and biodiverse urban ecosystem located at the nexus between public art, hard infrastructure and soft landscaping, in a site that has been in a state of abandon for some 35 years.

In developing the design Eudaimon are working with several specialists to create a mixture of vertical gardens. At ground level the work includes a modern representative of the limestone habitat of the Avon Gorge with an array of plant life that typically survives in tough conditions. On the upper level, climbing plants will create a sustainable example of vertical greening that will provide texture, colour and health almost all the year around. The planting scheme is based upon using plants with purpose, whether it be for pollen/nectar for birds, bees & butterflies, local heritage/indigenous plants, their herbal properties or the ability to reduce local air pollution.

Custom fabricated nest boxes will be installed on the underside of the solar panel array, to provide a home for swifts on their annual journey through the area. Insect homes will be installed into the lower section of the vertical garden for invertebrates such as mason bees, lacewings and lady birds which form an essential part of a healthy local ecosystem.

At the front end of the site, Eudaimon will be installing a ‘community station’ consisting of a drinking water fountain and a bicycle pump. These items of functional sustainability act as a positive counterpoint to the history of the site, in which an elegant Georgian building was demolished in 1974 as part of a road widening scheme. This aspect also completes the creation of a habitat that effectively acts as an urban watering hole, where different species interact in the same environment, meeting their own needs (water/air/pollen/berries) which are inextricably connected to the needs of others (food/pollination/clean air/use of renewable energy/communication).

Through the ‘Re-imagining 50 Stokes Croft’ project, the Ollett brothers acknowledge the cultural value of infrastructure in a physical form that supports the community & provides a space for active social relations.

The site is also positioned as the focal point within the urban greening framework project of the ‘Stokes Croft Corridor of Biodiversity’, an imaginative interconnected series of low and high scale ecological interventions. By situating ‘Re-imagining 50 Stokes Croft’ in this way, Eudaimon see the commission as becoming the prime environmental identity marker in the gritty urban context of the area, and nurturing a local distinctiveness that contributes to a positive, long-term and successful place making.

  • Commissioner

    Bristol City Council

  • Produced by

    Eudaimon (Roberto and Jak Ollett)

  • Partners

    Bristol City Council

  • Supported by

    Bristol City Council