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Forgotten Spaces: Friern Barnet Sewage Works by J&L Gibbons

[HARINGEY] A community allotment garden

A reworking of the principles of 18th century landscape for today’s urban environment is the idea behind J&L Gibbons’ scheme for the former Friern Barnet sewage works. The site was closed in 1963, since when it has been left derelict allowing regenerative ecology to take hold, some of ecological importance including the bee orchid and golden dock.

There are three broad zones (open ruderal grassland; part shaded woodland; and dense woodland) through which human activity has created a network of informal paths. Alongside these stolen cars have been dumped and left to rust. The aim of the scheme is to build on the site’s seclusion, retaining its abandoned cars as modern follies which will each have a picket fence border and band of foxgloves and lupins.

The spaces are treated in different ways with the upper area turned into allotment space for local residents and schools; the mid level have a quiet, intimate character; and the low, woodland spaces are covered in recycled brick rubble to create habitats for invertebrates and reptiles.

Forgotten Spaces: All 20 shortlisted entries feature in a public exhibition at the National Theatre until 4 July

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