Forgotten Spaces Sheffield 2011: Shortlist – Food For Thought by Doma Architects
A weary mill, previously lost and forgotten, rediscovers her purpose. Once again she provides her people with food and a place to work, a place to meet and learn new skills
Without the corn mill millhouses would never have existed. Once a series of buildings that formed the centre of the community, providing food with food and a place to work, the millhouses have deteriorated into disrepair.
The proposal reinterprets the original function of the corn mill and sees it reinvented as a predominantly self-sufficient community centre based around the production and provision of food.
At the heart of this is a community garden that is enclosed by a growing garden wall through which glimpses of internal activity can be observed.
The garden provides vegetables and herbs for a kitchen where new cooking skills are taught, which in turn caters for functions in the community hall, and the public cafe that opens out into the park. There is a new shop that sells produce from the garden and an onsite bakery.
As well as providing a space to learn new things in the kitchen and garden, an interactive learning wall is set up in the cafe to provide information on local history and current events.
The successful reinvigoration of the mill as a community facility acts as a catalyst for the regeneration of the village centre. The mill no longer acts as a barrier it once was but instead as a gateway.