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30 June 2010
With more and more people looking for green spaces to grow their own food, and waiting lists for allotments in Wales around four years, a team of students from the Welsh School of Architecture have come up with a zero-carbon and affordable mobile growing space.
Known as Nomadic Allotments, the innovative mobile allotments could offer a ‘do it yourself’ solution to creating green space for people and communities to grow their own produce on their doorsteps.
The uniquely designed mobile allotments were commissioned and funded by London’s Borough Market. In response to a specific brief from the International Student Architecture Festival, the allotments are made entirely from reclaimed materials such as pallets and packaging from the Market. The allotment frames, which are already in situ, will be unveiled during the London Festival of Architecture on 4 July 2010, when planting will begin.
The Allotments designed for the market offer a variety of growing, eating and seating areas for market-goers, local visitors and residents alike. Available in different designs and sizes depending on primary usage, they can be moved to any location within the market depending on flows of traffic, times of the day and growing needs.
Project Coordinator Dr Cristian Suau from the Welsh School of Architecture who led the student team, said: "Our brief was to produce pieces of architecture on the theme of reduce, re-use, recycle, and which would be versatile, cheap, lightweight and portable.
Artists' impression of a Nomadic Allotment in full bloom
"What the students have come up with is quite remarkable. Although we answered a specific brief for this particular project, we quickly came to realise that the device could be located anywhere where green space is required.
"Many communities lack suitable space for people to access green spaces, let alone space to grow their own food and plants. These Nomadic Allotments are very much a mobile device which have the potential to enhance public space and offer community groups, schools and those without gardens their very own plot of land. They are easy to install, cost very little, can house growing areas for fruit and vegetables, and provide seating areas."
Following the Festival of Architecture each Nomadic Allotment will be tended by local school children under the supervision of a professional gardener appointed by Borough Market.
Glenis Reagon, Managing Director of Borough Market, said: "The students have answered their brief with creativity and originality. The results are exciting for the market and for the local schoolchildren who will be getting their hands dirty as they discover the challenges and rewards of tending an allotment for real. It's an investment that Borough Market is proud of and excited by."
The London Festival of Architecture is a biennial city-wide celebration of Architecture in the capital. The International Student Architecture Festival asks design students from all over the UK and internationally to create a series of site-specific interventions in two key public spaces in London responding to the theme of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.
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