ROLE: Concept to Completion
LOCATIONS: Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Stratford
CLIENT: London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC)
Background & Objectives:
Chobham Manor is a contaminated site in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park that is destined for future housing development. In 2014, Groundwork was commissioned to create a temporary community garden on the site while it awaits remediation and redevelopment.
Developers are scheduled to move onto the Chobham Manor site in December 2016, when the garden will be relocated to another pre-development site within the Park. Our vision for the site was of a communal growing space that brings people together from the surrounding newly built neighbourhoods and helps establish and strengthen these fledgling communities.
We worked in partnership with Public Works and Somewhere to develop the concept, based on Ebenezer Howard’s Garden City, with a radial pattern and garden zones reimagined. This playfulness was extended through to a graphic visual identity for the space. All the elements of the garden space have been designed to be easily transportable to new locations, and to be reconstructed without breaching contaminated ground. Many of the materials were reused from elsewhere, including a stage and container from the London 2012 Olympics and pallets and scaffold boards which were made into planters.
Over 80 modular planters were constructed by our Green Team of horticultural trainees and by corporate volunteers. The planting was completed by residents and school children with ongoing gardening sessions delivered by Groundwork’s community gardeners. An area within the garden has also been designed to host a rolling programme of pop-up events and initiatives, which have included a tool library, an anaerobic digester, cookery classes and a poetry shed.
Since opening in July 2015 the garden has grown into being a much-valued community space that brings together a diverse local population of long standing residents in Leyton and new arrivals to the East Village. Groundwork London will continue to manage the garden on behalf of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park until December 2016.