Unsupported browser

For a better experience please update your browser to its latest version.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

What if installs orchard for Southbank Festival of Neighbourhood

  • Comment

Inspired by National Trust founder Octavia Hill What if:projects has installed a green space along Mandela Walk at the Southbank

As part of the Southbank Festival of Neighbourhood London-based small practice What if:projects has installed a series of green spaces along Mandela Walk, near to the Southbank centre. The aim is to link inner city housing estates with this temporary green space.

Galvanised metal bins, typically used for rubbish in multi-storey housing estates, have been planted with fruit trees creating an urban orchard along the pedestrian walkway.  

South facing timber platforms with integrated tree bins provide seating and picnic areas and invite people to rest and linger.

The orchard highlights the lack of access to green space in high density housing areas, and aims to open up the opportunities these often neglected, forgotten and unloved spaces in the city can offer to urban communities.

The installation will remain in place until September. Once the installation ends the orchard will be split into small groups and moved to green spaces within the nearby housing estates, creating a lasting legacy of the festival.

Architects view

Ulrike Steven, director, What if:projects

Octavia’s Orchard is inspired by the work of Victorian social reformer and founder of the National Trust, Octavia Hill (1838-1912) who, a century earlier, addressed problems of urban well-being and campaigned for open spaces in London.

Addressing problems of urban well-being over a hundred years ago, Octavia Hill stressed that ‘tenants and all urban workers should have ac­cess to open spaces. Places to sit in, places to play in, places to stroll in, and places to spend a day in.’ Her aims are relevant to the problems faced by many urban dwellers today and particularly people living in high density and deprived urban environments lack access to green spac­es.

Many housing estates in inner city London are based on the principles of the garden city where multi-storey housing blocks are surrounded by generous areas of green space. While full of potential these areas are often neglected and left to be used as dog toilet rather than much needed spaces for recreation and play.

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.

Related Jobs

AJ Jobs