Moorside Nuclear Project, Cumbria


The practice is working with NuGeneration (a joint venture between Toshiba and Engie) on the masterplan and vision for the £10bn Moorside Nuclear Project in Cumbria. The power station when operational will comprise three Westinghouse AP1000 reactors generating 3.4 gigawatts, representing 7% of the UK’s electricity requirement. Our approach to masterplanning has been to balance contextual, environmental and visual impact demands whilst optimising engineering, operational and safety requirements. The layout is derived from the linerar arrangement of the nuclear island and extends the infrastructure efficiencies and spatiality of a linear development to the adjacent ancillary building zones. Buildings are arrayed on two parallel north-south axii within the main perimeter, namely the spine road of the in-line reactor nuclear island and a central distributor through the ancillary building zone. 

The vision for architectural design proposes a hierarchy whereby the external envelopes of buildings, i.e. overall form and visible materials, relate to their size and function with recognisable common features to reinforce ordering principles. This articulation progressively becomes more refined, as buildings reduce in size bringing a human scale to the development. Sustainability has also been a key driver in creating the masterplan, with excavated earth redistributed within the construction boundary, water containment basins, safeguarding and creation of new habitats and planting. Similarly primary movement of approximately 1000 operational staff, a peak of 6000 construction workers, pre-engineered components and building materials to the main site and associated development is intended to be by rail and sea. This will be facilitated by proposed new rail stations (with legacy potential) and a marine off-loading facility.