Fofanny Water Treatment Works for Northern Ireland Water (NIW)

The Fofanny Water Treatment Works (WTW) Project represents the most unique water treatment facility ever commissioned by Northern Ireland Water (NIW) - A 52 Mega litres/day works constructed underground in the heart of the Mourne Mountains in County Down.

The Mourne Mountains are widely considered as one of Northern Ireland's top visitor attractions. Located in a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, they are part of the Countryside Policy Area and a candidate for National Park Status. It is because of this, that the overall design and engineering was of utmost importance, as the local economy largely depends on tourism, in particular scenic and activity-based tourism, so the decision was taken very early on in the contract to design a modern, new underground treatment works, the only one of its kind in Ireland, that would merge effortlessly into its surroundings.

As Landscape Architects for the project, it was important for us to fully appraise and survey the site, liaising with Civil Engineers and Architects, Ecologists and local Foresters, to advise on the siting of the main structure and provide site planning for access roads, storage areas, emergency escape routes etc. We researched historical Ordnance Survey archives to formulate a proposed field pattern for the restored site. In addition to this, production of planting and seeding proposals and letting and administration of planting/seeding sub contracts on site were also carried out.

Below are some images of the Fofanny WTW site before development, under construction and restoration of the site after construction:
Proposed Fofanny WTW site before construction works commence.
Fofanny WTW under construction.

Fofanny WTW site immediately after reinstatement.

Image before construction Artists impression of restored site Image of restored site after construction
Fofanny WTW site after restoration

Beechcroft Adolescent Mental Health Inpatient Unit, Child & Family Centre and Learning Centre, Forster Green for

the South & East Belfast Health and Social Services Trust

'Beechcroft' is a new Child and Adolescent Mental Health Unit at the Forster Green site in Belfast, providing regional inpatient services for children, adolescents and families. Services include assessment and treatment for complex mental illness, acute risk, diagnostic complexity that cannot be assessed or safely treated in the community.

The Unit comprises en-suite bedrooms,as well as overnight accommodation for parents, living accommodation including day rooms, dining rooms, quiet areas, together with therapy and education facilities and support accommodation for staff, catering and administration.

The most striking feature of the site are the stands of mature trees clustered on the boundaries. The value of these trees was acknowledged in their inclusion in a Provisional Tree Preservation Order. As Landscape Architects for the project, the intention was to try to retain as many of the existing trees as possible, so the siting of the buildings were of utmost importance.

Careful consideration was also given to the external recreational areas which necessitated the creation of an attractive and welcoming, therapeutic and stimulating outdoor environment to fully meet the client's brief. In consultation with our client, care and attention was applied to all outdoor spaces, to avoid undue risk and opportunities for self harm (eg ligature anchorage on play equipment items and carefully chosen plant species avoiding those which are toxic or have dangerous thorns etc.)The outdoor spaces were designed to relate intimately to the indoor spaces which they serve. In all areas, the detailed design maximised opportunities for sensory stimulation. A horticulture area and greenhouse were included as well as play terraces, a formal children's play area and a fully landscaped courtyard with bespoke sculptures which provides a visual 'screen' between the children's and adolescent wings.

Below are some images of the Beechcroft site before development, under construction and after completion of the project:
Beechcroft site before construction.
Beechcroft site during construction.
Beechcroft site after construction
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McIlwaine Landscape Architects copyright 2012