The Union Street Urban Orchard
Date: 19 June 2010 to 19 September 2010
Location: 100 Union Street, London SE1 0NL, United Kingdom
Following the 2010 London Festival of Architecture (19 June to 4 July 2010) and lasting through to autumn, the site of 100 Union Street in London SE1 was transformed into an urban orchard and community garden.
Designed by Heather Ring of Wayward Plants for The Architecture Foundation and built with the help of Bankside Open Spaces Trust and an array of other helpful volunteers the garden regenerated a disused site in Bankside and created a place for exchange between local residents and visitors to the Festival. The Orchard programme included a series of workshops and activities, as well as talks, walks, food, music and film screenings and events
The Urban Orchard was also home to the LivingARK, a zero-carbon pod inhabited during the period of the project to showcase sustainable ways of living. The site also hostest 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.
In September 2010 the garden was dismantled and all the trees given to local estates and other community gardens to remain as a lasting legacy of the 2010 London Festival of Architecture.
This project was delivered in collaboration between The Architecture Foundation, Bankside Open Spaces Trust, ProjectARKs and Wayward Plants.
Book published by The Architecture Foundation
Photo credit: Mike Massaro
The Union Street Urban Orchard was created by The Architecture Foundation, Bankside Open Spaces Trust, ProjectARKs and Wayward Plants.
Heather Ring, Orchard Designer / Project Manager, Wayward Plants
Peter Graal, Orchard Collaborator, Bankside Open Spaces Trust
Drew Woodhouse, Orchard Collaborator, ProjectARKs
Mischa Altmann, Orchard Collaborator, ProjectARKs
Sarah Ichioka, Director, The Architecture Foundation
Thomas Kendall, Assistant Project Manager
Claire Healey, Assistant Site Curator
Vanessa Celosse, Assistant Coordinator
Mike Massaro, Site Photographer
The Architecture Foundation
The Architecture Foundation is a non-profit agency for contemporary architecture, urbanism and culture. We cultivate new talent and new ideas. Through our diverse programmes we facilitate international and interdisciplinary exchange, stimulate critical engagement amongst professionals, policy makers and a broad public, and shape the quality of the built environment. We are independent, agile, inclusive and influential. Central to our activities is the belief that architecture enriches lives.
The London Festival of Architecture 2010
The Festival took place from 19 June to 4 July 2010, encompassing three weekends and two intervening weeks. Each weekend has a different geographic focus: Central: Nash Ramblas, East : High Street 2012 and South: Bankside Urban Forest . The Festival will incorporate complementary initiatives the International Architecture Student Festival, the International Architecture Showcase, Love Your Street and Open Studios. The London Festival of Architecture is produced collaboratively by London’s leading architectural organisations The Architecture Foundation (AF), New London Architecture (NLA) and the Royal Institute of British Architects London (RIBA) in coordination with a broad range of cultural and professional partners. The London Festival of Architecture is sponsored by Arts Council England, Land Securities and the London Development Agency.
Wayward Plants is a collaborative project of social exchange and botanical desire. The Registry creates adoption events and halfway homes for unwanted plants.
Wayward Plants, commonly referred to as weeds, are plants growing where they are not wanted. They may be non-native, unsightly, invasive, high-maintenance, surplus or withering, and so are uprooted and abandoned, pulled from the earth as urban castaways. But wayward plants, whether common weeds, domestic breeds or rare botanical specimens, are truly in the eye of the beholder. Wayward Plants sets up Halfway Homes for these unwanted plants, and works to bring out the full potential of their beauty and meaning. The Registry considers systems of exchange, the personification of plant-life, the human stories revealed through plant migrations, and the nature of botanical desire.
Wayward Plants is a collective of landscape architects, architects, artists and guerrilla gardeners.
The LivingARK is Bill Dunster’s (ZEDfactory) original ‘pod’ prototype which was first exhibited in early 2009. Many have taken inspiration from this deceptively large temporary structure, whether it be it’s shape, use of materials or off-grid capability.
During the summer months the LivingARK will play a number of roles within The Union Street Orchard. It will be a home, an office, a gallery (eco-labs.org), a classroom and an information and security point for all visitors to the orchard.
Following an unsuccessful arson attack, The LivingARK will be restored and manned by projectARKs made up of Drew and Mischa from livingARKs Ltd.
BOST is the Bankside Open Spaces Trust, working in the area south from the Thames near London Bridge BOST works to shape local concern into action, for parks, gardens, the streetscape and the wider shared environment.
BOST promotes inclusive action and carries out consultation to ensure that local needs are met for each green space in the area. We work in partnership with local people, Southwark Council is a key funder and land managing partner, we are grateful for support from businesses, and to other partners and funders. We run steering groups for the majority of our projects to ensure full local management and inclusion of all stakeholders in decision making.
BOST works closely with local people to facilitate local improvements. We are proud to have been awarded Goldstar status to support and share our work involving volunteers in improving their environment.
London architectural practice 51% studios has designed three Nestworks for the urban birds of Bankside featuring a series of sophisticated readymades: blocks, boughs and bushes. 51% studios approach to design is responsive, site specific and provocative. The project has been informed by ornithological derives with Peter Holden, locally celebrated for setting up the annual peregrine falcon public views at Tate Modern. The project takes its inspiration from Witherford Watson Mann’s Bankside Urban Forest Strategy.
Nestworks 1 2 3 are a direct response to the festival’s theme of exchange: of knowledge, habitat, materials. 51% studios discovered that the standard hollow block used to build some of London’s most celebrated architecture is made from concrete with 55% recycled woodpulp, a material that when used in nestboxes is proven to fledge more young than any other. Synergistically the interior block dimensions are text book sizes for house sparrows, radically in decline in the area. Other species designed for are blue tits, great tits, starlings, wrens, robins and blackbirds.
Nestworks 1 2 3 is a legacy project delivered in collaboration with Peter Holden and support from Openvizor, the Architecture Foundation, Riverford Organic and Lignacite. Maps showing locations of the Nestworks, some of which are hidden, are available in the Orchard at Union Street, or to download.
The Nest: An Urban Timber Garden
The Finnish Institute is proud to present the ‘Nest’, a timber pavilion showcasing the best of new Finnish wood architecture. The project will be presented as part of The Union Street Urban Orchard, adding an abstract timber garden into the urban environment. The pergola-like design – consisting of a mesh of shelter, decking and integrated furniture – offers a spot where visitors of the orchard can meet and explore the urban garden.
The ‘Nest’ is a result of an architectural competition with the ‘Wood Program’ at the Department of Architecture at the Aalto University. The winning entry is designed and built by a group of 15 international students and in-house architects of the ‘Wood Program’.
The ‘Wood Program’, directed by leading wood architect Pekka Heikkinen, is a one-year programme that aims to increase the knowledge of the architectural, ecological, aesthetic and technical aspects of wood in contemporary architecture. The programme is internationally renowned for its annual 1: 1 scale experimental projects, including several pavilions and most recently a prototype solar powered energy house as part of the ‘Solar Decathlon 2010’ competition in Madrid.
The ‘Nest’ is part of the Finnish Institute’s programme of activities showcasing Finnish design and architecture leading up to 2012 when Helsinki is World Design Capital.
A public ping-pong table has found its way onto the streets of London by taking over a skip on Union Street. Housed in a regular builders skip, the ping-pong table invites people to play and asks what do we want to find in our urban environment?
The work is a continuation of a series of uses for skips around the city by designer Oliver Bishop-Young. Other events have included swimming pools, parks, skate ramps and tap into the potential left in the things we throw away. Skips are such good places for claiming space in the city and sharing it with people, not cars. They are tools for DIY town planning.
The Identi-kit Urban Playground
In the heart of the city there is an Orchard, and deep in the Orchard is a tiny house, and this house is slowly getting covered in the drawings and writing of children. Children are beginning to walk through their city and observe their surroundings and this house is a place they can congregate to share their experience.
The Past… Taking inspiration from fairy tales, Thomas Kendall and Tamsin Hanke have designed this structure to help encourage children to explore their city and become a part of it.
The Present… During the London Festival of Architecture T & T will provide a series of maps they have worked on in partnership with Living Streets to combine exploration of the festival while learning road safety in a mini adventure. Once the walk is over the children return to the Orchard to decorate the structure with drawings and writing about what they have seen and learned on their walk. In each sector of the city the structure inhabits it would develop a local identity of each space and the people through their interaction with it.
A green note… In full spirit of the Make do and Mend aspect of the festival this structure is designed to be treated like a dress pattern. You can take each shape and apply it to a material that you have to hand. It is patchwork construction.
So come and play… bring your identity to the playground and learn to walk/love your city.
This event is part of the International Architecture Student Festival coordinated by London Metropolitan University and The Architecture Foundation.
The Scrumping Shed
Dr Charlie Henchard is a maverick agricultural scientist with an obsessive mission: to resurrect a long-lost cider recipe, and create a cider so powerful it might well change the course of history. A few days ago, Henchard vanished without a trace.
Surveillance on his flat, his allotment, and his lab shed have all drawn blanks. All we are left with are the contents of the shed itself: his log-book, his experimental fermentations, his scrawled working notes and an assortment of letters, clippings and postcards from his network of sympathisers around the globe. A few helpers from The Union Street Urban Orchard have been piecing together these scraps of information, and it seems that Charlie was a key figure in something much bigger: a clandestine group of radical cider selfexperimenters known only by the acronym S.A.P.
Over the course of the orchard’s existence, Henchard’s lab shed will be open to all comers. You are welcome to examine his formulations, letters, notes and equipment, and try to help us decipher the fate of this extraordinary cider-maker.
Go to for further examples of the archive, which we will catalogue as best we can in the hope of unearthing a critical clue. Curated by Claire Healy, in collaboration with James Wilkes, Charlie Tims and Vahakn Matossian.
Fruit City Mapping Station
This is an interactive mapping station inspired by and in collaboration with Vahakn Matossian’s ‘Fruit City’. It is a space where we can come together to share our local knowledge of the fruit trees that are growing across London and add to a collective map.
Have you ever thought that a pear tree may be growing right by your home?
The legacy of the Urban Orchard is physically mapped on site using custom-made tree tags. Take a walk amongst the wide variety of fruit trees to discover their stories and to find out where each tree is going to be relocated within the Bankside area once the festival is
The Union Street Urban Orchard has been conceived to feed into the Bankside Urban Forest vision set out by Witherford Watson Mann Architects. This vision looks at creating an ‘urban forest’ within the context of this area of London. It focuses on nurturing and stimulating wildlife and establishing clear ‘places of exchange’ where members of the local community, be they residents, workers or passers by, can meet and interact with one another.
On the occasion of the London Festival of Architecture 2010 therefore an Urban Orchard has been created. This community space will act as a ‘place of exchange’ for visitors to the Festival and the local community.
85 trees make up the orchard as well as a whole host of wayward plants. The garden will last from 19 June – 19 September after which the garden will be dismantled and all the plants and trees will go out into Bankside to green this space and thus contribute to the Bankside Urban Forest vision.
Replanted on estates and other local community spaces these trees act as a lasting legacy of the 2010 London Festival of Architecture.
We are currently looking for homes for many of the elements of the garden so please get in touch should you live in Bankside and wish to put in a claim for something. Please contact Moira Lascelles, Consultant Curator on
Tree destinations – Legacy
Locations of where the trees will be going once the orchard has been dismantled.
View Tree destinations – Legacy in a larger map
Thank you to Better Bankside, The Bankside Urban Forest, Lake Estates Limited, Openvizor, Rummey Design and the Arts Council England, Roger Zogolovitch, Giles Cherry and Adele Saxton from Lake Estates for the use of this beautiful land, Gary Stent of Carillion who has just been amazing, Val Beirne and Louise Errington from Better Bankside for their tireless help, EXYZT for breaking in the site for us two years ago, Alistair Huggett and Southwark Council for their patience and guidance, Andrew Richardson and Bankside Residents Forum, The Architecture Foundation team, Stephen Witherford for his advise and guidance, Nils Battye for helping us secure the legacy of the Orchard, Alison Moffett for her beautiful illustrations, Thomas Lindner for his carpentry genius, Amy Warner for the Volunteer Coordination, Bill and Sue Dunster of ZEDfactory, Jody Boehnert of EcoLabs, Abbey Services, Network Pallets and Dorett Sutherland at Skyline Roofing Centre for the pallets, Universal Tyres for the tyres, Envirolay for the recycled tyre mulch that lines our paths, Junk Etc for reclaimed timber, Vector Foiltec Ltd. for the ETFE on our greenhouse, Ball Colegrave Ltd. for the Vertigarden system in which we’ve planted our strawberry wall, Front Yard Company for their PlantLocks to lock our bikes, iGuzzini and Paviom for providing the external lighting equipment, Alex Hartman of Little Summit Productions, Lleylands, Travis Perkins and Rumwood nurseries, Sofia Aittomaa and The Finnish Institute for The Nest, 51% for their custom-designed birdboxes, Oliver Bishop-Young for his ping-pong table skip, Thomas Kendall and Tamsin Hanke for the The Identikit Urban Playground, Orly Orbach painting for our mascot pig, Chloe Elizabeth Hough for her seated discussion platform (our “debating circle”), Barbara Lascelles for her most beautiful cushions and bunting, Sian Jones for our web site (www.unionstreetorchard.org.uk), Lizzie Frost for the orchard logo, Teresa Diaz for our graphic design, Tomas Cortese for his design guidance, Antony Nelson for his plant knowledge, Katja Leszczynska and Playlight Lighting Design Studio for the lighting design, Vahakn Matossion and Fruit City for the map of London’s fruit trees, Charlie Tims for his apple press and Scrumping installation, Poppy Nicol for her photos of grafting, Julia Tcharfas for her forest photos and flyposting, Anne-Laure and Carina Dunkerley at the London Orchard Project, Laura Davies for her research skills, Thurgood’s Groceries for the apples, James Wilkes for the stories of flowers, Seedy Sunday and Organic Gardens for donating their seeds, The Jerwood Space for the cappuccinos, wifi and loos, Elizabeth Staveley for sourcing plants, Pavel for the van, John Batho, Rocket gardens, Sambrook’s Brewery, The Well Hung Meat Company, The Urban Wine Company, Abel & Cole, Vanessa Harden, Richard Reynolds and Darren Wilson for the seed bomb research station, Bryan Boyer and Amy Seek of Wayward Plants, Mr. Solo and Nikki Paglia for the Wayward Plant Song / Video, Mr.Solo and Black Cherry for breaking in our railway arch stage, Brenda Parker, Lottie Child, Antonia Gant, Sydney Thornbury, Liam Young, Matt Jones, The Roundhouse Poetry Collective and The Young Offenders Institute for the weekend of workshops, Alison Benjamin and Brian McCallum of Urban Bees for the beehive, “Bob the Builder,” and to a wonderful group of volunteers: Stephen Brooks, Bobby Denton, Steven Williams, Deirdre McGonagle, Ola Akinforarn, Jane Harrisworth, Simon Rees, Michelle Reeves, Dan Hawthorn, Alexia Georgiou, Emilie Girardin, Max Dannheisser, Tom Stuart, Jessica Tettelaar, Maiara Vegara, Maryam Pousti, Younha Rhee, Clare Druhurst, Mark Bennett, Cherry Roberts, Mark Ellery, Vicky Harrison, Tong Yan, Nikki Paglia, Daniel Edgerton, Sam Daudeswell, Michelle Obee, Adam Clark, Enward Beharrell, Cristian Suau, Donncha O’Shea, Rachel Pimm, Joanna Maguire, Tineke Purnell, Adam Cohen, Sandy Chandra, Beriah Chandoo, Sara Jefferson, Rakan Buderi, Lauren Doss, Luisa Rodrigues, Paul Upton, Anka Robins, Rob Lyon, Anna Nasalska, Sam Dowdeswell, Paul Wilkinson, Georgina White, Mathew Brooker, Anna Clarke, Anna Marie Hutton, Janet Cockayne, Amina Nazari, Luisa Rodrigues, David Latto, Nenad Todorovic, Sorrell, Philip Fawcett, Andrea Walkes, Tim Jackson, Dayo Muili, Gamze Kaya, Antony Chang, Ruby Wright, Molly Dalton, Rachel Fitzgerald, David Harbord, Luke Borucinski, Mark Breslin, Lance Paine, Alex Michell, Younha Rhee, Rosalind Price, Gary O’Doherty, Helen Cuthbert, Robyn Blackburn, Joanne Fox, Gemma Brickwood, Rob Scadding, Katie Benford, Stuart Slatter, Alex Coulton, Catherine Ellis, Meena, Rob Heppell, Grant, Ben Mitchell, Clare Dryhurst, Michael Penny, Caroline Lewis, Piab Cooke, Robin Kendall, Sally Kendall, Mark Bresun, Craig Stone, Joana Subral, Sam Dent, Luke Dickens, Krishnaprasad Raghavan, Phil Simpson and those whose names we failed to catch.
Photographs by Mike Massaro
Camera by Andrés Borda González
Sound Recording by Daniel Zawadzki
Music by Pablo Escallón
Sound Mixing by Diego Belmonte
Assistant Editor Helena Escallón
Edited by Andrew Papadopoulos
Produced by Abbas Nokhasteh
Directed by Andrés Borda González