SLR’s design recognised at the Preservation Trust awards

Completed in 2014, SLR designed and planned the landscape setting of the Viridor Energy Recovery Facility at Ardley, Oxfordshire. The facility, which works continuously to transform Oxfordshire’s non-recyclable waste into enough renewable energy to power around 38,000 homes, has now recently been recognised at the annual Oxford Preservation Trust awards.

The Oxford Preservation Trust awards are in place to highlight the quality and variety of building projects taking place across Oxfordshire. It is due to its contribution in serving the local community in Oxfordshire, and with its design being inspired by the history of the surrounding landscape, that the Ardley ERF has been acknowledged for its success.

SLR’s Director of Architecture David Butterworth was the concept designer of the building and its integration into the surrounding site and the wider Oxfordshire landscape. SLR also provided all the multidisciplinary professional services required for a project of this nature including planning, landscape architecture, highways engineering and transport engineering, land formation, water engineering and visual reality modelling.
One of the key challenges for this project was the re-design of the landfill to create a landform within which the ERF could sit.  This involved SLR architects, landscape and visual architects, landfill designers, ecologists and hydrologists working together to produce a deliverable scheme.


David Butterworth speaking about his involvement in the project and its design said: “It was a great privilege when Viridor approached me again, following our working together on their Trident Park ERF* in Cardiff Bay. The new Oxfordshire project at Ardley presented even more technically complex challenges than Trident Park.  It was to be built on a working landfill site, there were immense groundwater problems and visually the site was adjacent to the M40 motorway and would be seen from both the north and south carriageways. The facility, being around 200m long and up to 14 stories in height, was to be set in the beautiful Oxfordshire countryside.

The Ardley design strives to synthesise the functional requirements of the process technology and the need to enclose, drape and screen it, with the concept of the building, a bold organic shape sweeping out of, yet being an integral part of the undulating rural landscape. The joy of my client’s award is that it is given by local people, who care about the quality of building projects taking place across their county, who have recognised and understood the thrust of my work and my design intentions.”

Ian John, Viridor’s Director of Planning, Permitting and Estates said of SLR’s contribution: “SLRs ability to design such a high quality building and to produce an environmentally and technically robust planning application and EIA was key to securing permission for this facility.”

For further information please contact: Chris Herbert, Technical Director – Planning,


* Note

Viridor’s Trident Park Cardiff was a £223M flagship Welsh Energy Recovery Facility that was shortlisted for a National Award, the British Construction Industry (BCI) Awards “Major Building Projects of the Year” over £50M. The building is sensitively located within the visual envelope of the Millenium Stadium and the Richard Rogers building for the Welsh Assembly.

Key Contacts:

Chris Herbert