Centre for Alternative Technology

I’ve always planned to visit the Centre for Alternative Technology and finally succeeded, driving over a steeply wooded mountain road from Aberangell to Corris.

It’s a 1970s project, founded in November 1973 by Gerard Morgan-Grenville on a disused slate quarry, inspired by writings like Small is Beautiful and The Limits to Growth, full of hippy zeal to explore alternative technologies, including wind farms and solar power, which were once marginal and are now mainstream.

One approaches by a water-powered funicular:-


There is a faint whiff of Hobbit-land:-


Plus the remains of experiments in wind power:-



The most impressive part of the project is WISE, their graduate school and conference centre, which was designed by Pat Borer and David Lea, a student of Leslie Martin, an intelligent piece of ecological design, built out of rammed earth and timber on an ambitious scale:-




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