Emily Schroeder

Emily Schroeder

Brooklyn, NY, US


Journey: Walking the Norfolk Coast Path

Design intervention along the Norfolk Coast Path, final student project.

Stiffkey, Sheringham, and Overstrand are three coastal villages on the North Norfolk coast, East Anglia.  The sites for the design intervention lie on the Norfolk Coast Path, a 150 km (93 miles) long distance trail.  The terrain dramatically changes from upland and lowland areas, with a continuous walk through remote countryside to salt marshes and naturally carved out bays to sand dunes toward and atop soft clay & chalk cliffs.  These cliffs are roughly 70 million years old from the Cretaceous period.  They are also the youngest known Mesozoic rocks and are the only significant outcrops of chalk of this age in Britain.

This proposal extends the Norfolk Coast Path to Overstrand terminating at the location where the last land slippage occurred as the concrete promenade subsequently ends.   Pathways and bridges, whether literally or symbolically, are principal unifying elements conceptually developed to ease distance off the course of their defining relationships.  Materials are sequentially repeated throughout each intervention so that though in different geographical locations, the project can be read as one contiguous linear object. 

A temporal landscape bounds nature, culture, and time.  Whether the landscape is either temporary in a span of time or during a longitudinal distance, the design approach attempts to frame the fleeting, atmospheric conditions of the North Norfolk coastline.  I aim to convey memory, or capacity to remember sensational responses to the landscape, and the temporality of the experience and of the landscape.  In this emerging body of landscape work, the ‘memory of the site’ and the fields of relations between past and present, topographical and cultural, are vital to the overall design response.

As Christopher Girot writes in “Vision in Motion: Representing Landscape in Time” published in Charles Waldheim’s The Landscape Urbanism Reader (2006), “seeing the landscape has been considerably altered by the various forms of movement that we presently experience through a site.”  While walking and cycling is the main mode of transportation for the Norfolk Coast Path, the transitional points, such as car parks, in which to enter the coastal path voids users of the continuous flow of directional time over the change in the landscape in which the path is meant to provide.  The edge between the analogue form of transportation, walking, and the directive form, vehicular is not blurred, but a hard line created from the transformation of asphalt to salt marsh or clay-chalk cliff.  

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Status: School Project
Location: Norfolk UK