5.1 / What was saved, what was lost.

A case study

A sequence of concrete monoliths  designed for ‘The Ancient Green Wood’ at Charlton Hayes — a housing development in the South West from Bovis/Vestry Homes.

Commissioned by Ginkgo Projects — designed and hand set by Mr Smith — to be fabricated and installed by Mr Smith and Andy Sawyer in Summer/Autumn 2022.

The content and characters are taken from ‘What was saved, What was lost.’— a Charlton Hayes Story: by Adam Marek.

©Smith’s Rules/Ginkgo Projects

The Proposal

The design concept for this North Bristol site consists of a series of groups of ‘human sized’ concrete monoliths that stand on the edges of the existing ‘ancient pathway and woodlands’ that flank the new’ Charlton Hayes’ housing development.

These standing stones represent people and families across time — ancient and modern — that have occupied and walked this ground. 

The forms and markings on the concrete reference the history and usage of the place. The words pick up on conversations and ideas lost (and saved) in the ether. 

The monoliths are visual references to the ‘ancient’ standing stones and the simple gate posts and markers that were discovered in the undergrowth of the woodland.

There are still a few of these posts on site which will be retained & restored at the entrance point on (the ancient pathway) Hayes Lane.

Initial studies & tests

Some details

The standing stones can be seen from the various routes in the woodland walk and encourage the public to explore the woodland area.

The scale and power of these totems lead you off the main walking paths — towards a derelict concrete and brick WW2 pill-box — a half-built wall and an old foundation flagstones on the site. These odd remnants will be retained and re-stored and sit along the new stones to remind us of times passed. 

There are 4 different sized totems; they are all 2ft wide (60cm) by 4ft / 5ft / 6ft / 7ft and all 6 to 12 inches deep. 

The totems will be cast from reinforced concrete off-site and installed on completion of the landscaping of the woodland. They will be installed in relation to the attached Landscape plan and Tree root positions etc.

Final positions can still be flexible but relate to the existing retained structures. There will be 15 totems grouped in small ‘families’ a long the paths — with one or two entrance ‘gate’ totems to welcome and explain the work. This document shows the position and grouping of these totems as well as each of their content front and back.

Running title artwork & sand-blasting tests

Concrete casting tests #1 . . .