The natural landscape of Cornwall provided the inspiration for the landscape, with the coastal scenery and the lush, semi-tropical valleys represented in the design.
Fira was appointed to produce detailed proposals for phase one of the new College of Art at the Combined University of Cornwall in Falmouth. The project consisted of a new design centre, Cambourne School of Mines and Exeter University located together in one building. The building was designed to make use of the natural landform, setting the structure into the landscape. Detailed co-ordination of the landscape design and the architecture resulted in a green building with an extensive sedum roof. The coastal scenery and Great Gardens of Cornwall were represented in the design of the courtyards, with the main courtyard forming the entrance to the university and providing a space for meetings, events and exhibitions.
The house and historic gardens with its rhododendron collection, which is amongst the finest in the UK, formed the core of the new development. This unique character and location make Tremough an attractive and unusual campus. Fira were commissioned to undertake a study of the historic part of the estate and make proposals for improvements including an application for the Countryside Stewardship Scheme. The first part of the strategy analysed the ecology of the site, the condition of the principal trees, the quality of the historic gardens and the level of grounds maintenance. The second part developed strategies for a variety of landscape character areas with proposals for improving the quality and intensity of grounds maintenance. The strategy included conserving the exceptional rhododendron collection, and methods to improve the biodiversity of the campus by creating wildlife habitats. This led to schemes for improving the horticultural diversity of the gardens, and establishing an educational resource for the University.