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Mobile allotments

27 June 2010

With more and more people looking for green spaces to grow their own food, and waiting lists for allotments in Wales around four years, a team of Welsh students have come up with a zero-carbon and affordable mobile growing space.

Known as Nomadic Allotments, the innovative mobile allotments have been designed by students from Cardiff University’s Welsh School of Architecture. They could offer a ‘do it yourself’ solution to creating green space for people and communities to grow their own produce on their doorsteps.

The uniquely designed mobile allotments were commissioned and funded by London’s Borough Market. In response to a specific brief from the International Student Architecture Festival, the allotments are made entirely from reclaimed materials such as pallets and packaging from the Market. The allotment frames, which are already in situ, will be unveiled during the London Festival of Architecture on 4 July 2010, when planting will begin.

The Allotments designed for the market offer a variety of growing, eating and seating areas for market-goers, local visitors and residents alike. Available in different designs and sizes depending on primary usage, they can be moved to any location within the market depending on flows of traffic, times of the day and growing needs.

Project Coordinator Dr Cristian Suau from the Welsh School of Architecture who led the student team, said: "Our brief was to produce pieces of architecture on the theme of reduce, re-use, recycle, and which would be versatile, cheap, lightweight and portable.

"What the students have come up with is quite remarkable. Although we answered a specific brief for this particular project, we quickly came to realise that the device could be located anywhere where green space is required.

"Many communities lack suitable space for people to access green spaces, let alone space to grow their own food and plants. These Nomadic Allotments are very much a mobile device which have the potential to enhance public space and offer community groups, schools and those without gardens their very own plot of land. They are easy to install, cost very little, can house growing areas for fruit and vegetables, and provide seating areas."

Following the Festival of Architecture each Nomadic Allotment will be tended by local school children under the supervision of a professional gardener appointed by Borough Market.

Glenis Reagon, Managing Director of Borough Market, said: "The students have answered their brief with creativity and originality. The results are exciting for the market and for the local schoolchildren who will be getting their hands dirty as they discover the challenges and rewards of tending an allotment for real. It's an investment that Borough Market is proud of and excited by."

The London Festival of Architecture is a biennial city-wide celebration of Architecture in the capital. The International Student Architecture Festival asks design students from all over the UK and internationally to create a series of site-specific interventions in two key public spaces in London responding to the theme of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

For more information contact:
Lowri Jones
Public Relations
T: 02920 870 995

Notes to Editors
1. Images are available on request

2. Welsh School of Architecture
The Welsh School of Architecture is one of the most successful and longest established schools of architecture in Britain. It is one of the few schools in Britain where undergraduates have the opportunity to complete the two-tier degree scheme leading to the award of the BArch within five years.

Visit the Welsh School of Architecture’s website at:

3. Cardiff University
Cardiff University is recognised in independent government assessments as one of Britain’s leading teaching and research universities and is a member of the Russell Group of the UK’s most research intensive universities. Among its academic staff are two Nobel Laureates, including the winner of the 2007 Nobel Prize for Medicine, Professor Sir Martin Evans.

Founded by Royal Charter in 1883, today the University combines impressive modern facilities and a dynamic approach to teaching and research. The University’s breadth of expertise in research and research-led teaching encompasses: the humanities; the natural, physical, health, life and social sciences; engineering and technology; preparation for a wide range of professions; and a longstanding commitment to lifelong learning.