Climate Change


13 - How can I create an urban oasis in a skip?

UCL students have found a clever way to create more green space in London. They’ve used skips to grow apple trees, pumpkins and beans. These gardens are self-sustaining and even have their own bee hives. As the land they’re on is sold, the skip gardens are moved to a new home.

13 man and crop

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Volunteer with your local skip garden. Visit globalgeneration.org.uk to find out more.

The Skip Garden, the urban garden and community space in the heart of the King’s Cross redevelopment has opened in its new home, unveiling seven new structures curated in collaboration with The Bartlett School of Architecture UCL.

The green space, which is run by Global Generation, has moved to its third and most exciting space at King’s Cross, working with undergraduate students from the School of Architecture to create bespoke structures for learning and events. Now open to the public, the collaboration aims to add to the existing garden, whilst giving undergraduates experience of project management and design as well as exposure to a real client and a real brief.

The students have embraced sustainable construction techniques through the use of reclaimed materials such as sash windows to create a greenhouse effect, railway sleepers to form toilet cubicles and coffee sacks filled with earth to create energy efficient walls. The development includes various facilities that can be used by the public such as the Skip Garden Kitchen, a dining area and multiple growing spaces incorporating into London’s first large-scale reed bed water filtration scape.

The collaboration between The Bartlett School of Architecture and Global Generation is the brainchild of Julia King and Jan Kattein who run The Bartlett’s BSc Architecture design unit, UG3.

Commenting on the collaboration, Julia King, from The Bartlett’s BSc Architecture programme, said: "Full-scale making exposes students to real world challenges. Building your own structure and then inhabiting it engages you with your work in a very visceral manner and working with Skip Garden has allowed the students to do just that. To now see the structures in the final phase is both rewarding and exciting. We hope the Skip Garden continue to work with the local community, allowing opportunities, such as this to grow."

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(Based on a UCL news story first published on 14/08/15)