Roundfield were asked to renovate the approach to a former farmhouse in central Somerset. Previous work had resulted in some uncomfortable changes which needed to be addressed to improve access and site lines. The client was also keen to do something exciting and innovative. As we needed to lower levels quite dramatically in some areas, retaining walls were required which would eventually frame the approach to the house. In order to achieve a soft solution we decided to look at a system utilising mechanically stabilised earth (MSE) which involves the use of geotextile bags filled with a course mixture of sand and topsoil. We proposed that the addition of wildflower turf would create a retaining structure with the qualities of a ‘devon bank’.
The client is very pleased with the result, as are we and will using this new ‘wildflower wall’ system on other projects. To approach to the house is now a delightful experience with a fully permeable surface framed by the wildflower walls and slatted timber screens with a distinct materials palette of green oak and corten steel.