Gibbon’s Rent Project Wins SGD Award for Best Design for Community Space

The Architecture Foundation is delighted to announce that our Gibbon’s Rent project has recently received a Society of Garden Designers Award, the UK’s only awards scheme dedicated to rewarding outstanding achievement in the garden and landscape design profession. 

Gibbon’s Rent was announced joint winner with Montpelier Community Nursery Garden in the Best Design for Community Space category, a new category celebrating the importance of the design and redevelopment of public and community spaces.

Resulting from a collaboration between The AF, Team London Bridge and Southwark Council, the Gibbon’s Rent project, which launched during Cityscapes and the London Festival of Architecture 2012transformed a cut through from Magdalen Street to Bermondsey Street. Designed by emerging Australian architect Andrew Burns and award-winning landscape architect Sarah Eberle, Gibbon's became a permanent shared green space for all to enjoy.

The project aimed to raise awareness of this forgotten piece of Southwark and to contribute to the longer-term social and economic improvement of the area. It actively encouraged community participation by asking local businesses and residents to contribute potted plants to the garden allowing it to grow and evolve, taking on a life of its own past its official summer launch.

Judges’ comments on the project included: “This reworking of a 1970s community garden has led to a flexible landscape where the residents have ownership and the freedom to personalise and adopt the site. Reclaimed materials and community-led construction make this an inviting and engaging design that is loved and well-used by locals.”

The second phase of the project, Gibbon's Gateways, will take place this summer. Rotterdam-based architecture office Superuse Studios have been commissioned to design permanent gateway structures for both entries of Gibbon’s Gate. In line with the ethos of Superuse, the structures will be created using materials harvested from the local area, and will become an important asset to raise awareness of, and attract new visitors to this ‘secret garden’.

This is a fantastic achievement and The AF would like to congratulate all those involved in the project. 

Photo credit: Gibbon's Rent 2013. Courtesy Mickey Lee, The AF.