Empty Building Sites to Become Pop-up Parks

mitchel Taylor.photo

Image from bd

In the downtown areas of many cities you can see empty lots where building projects have been halted due to the recession. Why not do something useful there instead of letting the garbage collect? Here's an idea: put a park or allotment or market on the empty sites of all those aborted developments.

That's just what they are doing on one high-profile plot in the centre of London. A 48 storey sky scraper is not being built. Instead, the developer, with a push from the City of London, has challenged young architects to come up with alternative uses for the land. What a great opportunity for a new practice to make their mark.

farm leadenhall.jpg

Image from city farmer

The winner of the competition, Mitchell Taylor Workshop, has won the competition to transform the site into a farm, complete with chickens. A palette of vegetables, fruits, cereal crops and flowers has been put together to allow fresh produce every month and to provide plant interest and colour throughout the year

It will include a wildflower bank and blackberry bushes and grassy banks to picnic on. The first-ever allotments in the financial district will be included, with the produce sold to City workers from kiosks.

They expect to do the whole thing on a budget of £125,000. As one observer said of the judges' decision: "A lot of the practices took a very formalised approach with a space for people to sit in their Hugo Boss suits and eat their sandwiches. But [Mitchell Taylor's] was a much more interesting idea, to have a garden where people could grow their own fruit and veg."

leeds art-park.photo

Image from bd

In Leeds, a temporary "art park" was created on a mothballed building site. It proved so popular that its usage has been extended until the end of the year and it has been shortlisted for a prize in the Leeds Architecture Awards.

football pitch.photo

Image from soccerquadrant.com

A large site in Camden (a residential area) meant for a 26 storey residential highrise will now become a temporary football (soccer) pitch with 5 fields plus a changing facility. The local council said that they "would welcome a beneficial use" rather than see the site sit vacant.

park life.photo

Image from parklife

On Oxford Street, London's busiest shopping street, a Christmas market, complete with stalls and ferris wheels has been set up on a massive empty building site. Destined to become a retail complex, for the next 2 months it will have crafts, jewellery and of course, glogg wine.

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