Manor Allotments

Manor allotments

Year | 2016
Location | Manor Allotments, Sheffield
Client | Marion

Manor allotment is a community garden, located in southern Sheffield, which is made up with dozens of plots and assigned to individuals and families to grow their own vegetables, fruits, herbs and flowers, furthermore, people who live around can be outside to enjoy a piece of quiet.  

Our site is one plot with a container, which is serving as the shop and reception to the users. However, the existing container had a lot of restrictions on the use of space.To have a place where can accommodate at least 6 people and collect water in winter months was an urgent need for them. Additionally, a ramp for disabled was necessary as well. Clients need us to build the structure and roof of the extension to the shop with £750.

At first, we focused on the expansion of container by reusing the materials recycled from the old wooden house. After several trips, we mapped and analysed the surrounding context of existing buildings and geography information. Alongside this, we developed rich understandings of clients’ core principals in terms of meeting with stakeholders, interviewing with other allotment users, collecting data through questionnaires. We tried to expand initial requirements to draw a further prediction of how allotments influence the lifestyles of potential owners. We defined new functions of space and re-planned the routines of people in all ages to make an overall design.

The key point of this project, we need to consider the possibility of the construction about joints and structure system in the way of labor capacity, budget, tools and limited time. We have optimized structure and joints several times through making 1:1 wooden model in advance. During the last twoweeks building process, we gained various knowledge about using hand tools and making joint components under the guidance of Sam, an experienced carpenter.

Summing up the work during the past six weeks, we built the frame structure, roof with water collecting pipe, base, furniture and flowerbeds. Meanwhile, we provided clients with integrated strategy about forthcoming project, including site planning, interior and facade design, as well. They can complete the follow-up construction afterwards.

On the whole, our team gained numerous experiences in different aspects. For instance, how to consider multiple factors comprehensively, including our available resources, users’ requirements as well as limited conditions; how to control the project with a sensible time management; how to get useful information with an efficient communication; how to optimize everyone’s strength and share responsibility in a group; how to build a real house with right tools, as so forth. All this gained insights lead us to an infinitely critical thinking!