The Union Street Urban Orchard was a pioneering project in meanwhile space, transforming a derelict site into a thriving community orchard, built with over one hundred volunteers. Constructed from reclaimed materials, 85 fruit trees, and countless wayward plants, the orchard was host to a series of events throughout the summer it was open.
The feature project of the London Festival of Architecture 2010, Wayward was commissioned by the Foundation to design and produce the project with the support of Bankside Open Spaces Trust. The garden regenerated a disused site in Bankside and created a place for exchange between local residents and visitors to the Festival. Wayward ran a 6-week community build, teaching volunteers skills in carpentry and gardening.
During the festival, The Urban Orchard hosted workshops and discussions on urban agriculture: biodiversity and urban food growing, alongside film screenings, musical performances, and local community meetings. The Urban Orchard was also home to the LivingARK, a zero-carbon pod which was inhabited during the period of the project to showcase sustainable ways of living, as well as hosting The Nest, a pavilion created by the Finnish Institute, the Identikit by Thomas Kendall and Tamsin Hanke and a skip turned table tennis table created by Oliver Bishop-Young. After one fruit harvest, the garden was dismantled and all the trees were given to local estates and other community gardens to remain as a lasting legacy of the project.
The Union Street Urban Orchard won a special commendation from the Conservation Foundation and has become an international model for Meanwhile Space design.
Client: The Architecture Foundation for The London Festival of Architecture
Site: London, UK (2010)
Partners: Lake Estates, Openvizor, Bankside Open Spaces Trust and ProjectARKs