Project Description Al Balanj Park occupies a site of 55 hectares and is home to a well established scout camp in the heart of a diverse woodland habitat of high scenic value in the Green Mountain area of eastern Libya.
The strategy for the Park is to protect and enhance the existing trees and shrubs, to secure the future of the overall woodland character. Careful planning of the new uses seeks minimum intervention in the landscape; the new buildings establish and focus on their own public spaces where intensive uses are contained in courtyards/gardens and plazas which are enhanced by formal planting for shade with pools and fountains.
A series of routes and paths allow users to circulate around the site by vehicle and by foot. Access roads lead to existing clearings where the local centre, multipurpose hall and prayer room are located, and each with a small formal parking area and access to further informal parking within woodland.
A series of jogging trails have been established circulating from the health club, these trails have exercise stations along a route within the woodland. The jogging trail, footpaths and camping areas are marked by a simple series of marker posts allowing users to follow specific routes. The camping areas for the scouts (male and female) have been clustered within the woodland with easy access to shower blocks and the central scout building and parade ground.
The chalet clusters are located on the periphery of the site beyond the scout areas to the south and east of the site. These chalet clusters front onto irrigation ponds and are enhanced by additional tree planting.
The masterplan was undertaken in collaboration with HED.
Roles and Responsibilities An important project in the development of several areas of experience for both the practice and Richard personally, he enjoyed his role as Senior Associate / project lead, taking responsibility for the majority of this project.
Richard was very closely involved with leading the masterplan design from site analysis and initial concept to detail design delivery, as well as taking overall design responsibility for all building design aspects related to appearance and materials (with the plans developed along a strictly functional brief by a separate team associated with the client).
Detail designs and construction drawings were developed for several selected exemplar buildings, which were drawn to a significant level of detail to allow the contract to be let to a single main contractor through an invited tender process administered by colleagues locally.
This process required careful planning and pre-selection of suitable exemplars that represented the full range of conditions, materials and detailed design approaches. Construction and materials methodologies were developed based on team knowledge of local skills and materials availability, with appropriate techniques chosen to take advantage of these.