University of Winchester

Winchester’s Floating Boardwalk


University of Winchester


Scott White and Hookins, JDP



An exciting educational project to provide universal access for all those visiting the University of Winchester’s King Alfred’s Campus via the historic Dytche. Our floating boardwalk ties in with the University’s values of equality, diversity, and inclusivity.

We were appointed by the University of Winchester after winning a bid to create a new accessible route from the Dytche. We are currently working in collaboration with local specialists, including Structural Engineers Scott White and Hookins and Electrical Engineers JDP. 

The floating boardwalk – designed in a glade of birch and Scots pine trees – creates a new route up to the Marshall Rose library and beyond. Our design is inspired by the idea of bringing the South Downs into the Campus, through a Corten steel frame and an open mesh that would sit upon a sea of chalk wildflower meadow.

Working with the Topography

Winchester stands at the edge of the South Downs and thus the King Alfred’s Campus is no different, the path to the Dytche is challenged by a 1:2 sloped embankment that forces the current access to be stepped, making it inaccessible for wheelchair users.  

Biodiversity Action Plan

Our landscape-led design evokes the strong sustainability values of the University, choosing instead to reuse many of the existing features of the site to create habitats that encourage biodiversity and balance. This biodiversity extends through to the use of local suppliers to reduce the effects of supply transportation and carbon footprint, as well as the use of native trees and planting methods, the use of planting species that promote the university’s Biodiversity Action Plan and support the habitats of pollinators within the campus.

Student Collaboration

We propose the use of native trees and wildflower planting to inspire the feeling of floating above a glade of trees, which hug the reprofiled embankment. The existing timber sleeper step materials will be reused to create hibernacula and bug hotels, with the opportunity to involve students studying Animal Science and Sustainability.

Appointed by the University of Winchester, after successfully winning a bid and are working in collaboration with Structural Engineers Scott White and Hookins and Electrical Engineers JDP. 

We are excited to see the next stage of development.