Gibbon's Rent Transformation

Add your plant to the garden

  • Courtesy of Andrews Burns Architect
  • Photo by Mickey Lee
  • Photo by The Architecture Foundation
  • Photo by The Architecture Foundation
  • Photo by Mickey Lee
  • Photo by The Architecture Foundation

The Architecture Foundation working with Team London Bridge and Southwark Council have transformed a long forgotten cut through from Magdalen Street to Bermondsey Street known as Gibbon's Rent.

Designed by emerging Australian architect Andrew Burns and award-winning landscape architect Sarah Eberle Gibbon's Rent has been transformed into a permanent shared green space for all to enjoy.

The project aims to raise awareness of this forgotten piece of Southwark and to contribute to the longer-term social and economic improvement of the area.  It looks to actively encourage community participation 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 launch this summer.

The first phase of the project is now complete and launched on 23 June 2012 with a series of activities and events planned to coincide with two overarching cultural programmes: Cityscapes and the London Festival of Architecture 2012. The maintenance of the space will be managed by Team London Bridge together with homeless charity St Mungo’s Putting Down Roots initiative along with the local community.

Please come along, add a pot and enjoy the space.  Community planting and maintenance will take place throughout the summer on Tuesday and Thursday lunchtimes run by St Mungo's Putting Down Roots.

The launch event that took place on 23-24 June 2012 consisted of the following events:

Saturday, 23 June

12.00-3.30 Potting up – come along to pot a plant and add to the evolving landscape of Gibbon’s Rent. We will be planting seeds, annual vegetable plug plants, perennial vegetables and herbs.

12.00-4.00 Re-Fuze will be running workshops to build seating for the on site cinema event on Sunday. Register to take part on the LFA website.

12.00-12.20 Fiona Law from Master Gardeners will provide useful tips for gardeners and discuss the support for novice community garden plots.

1.00-1.20 Mikey Tomkins’ talks about what he has learned about public space projects during his time with Capital Growth.

2.00-2.20 Sarah Eberle will answer questions and discuss the design and aims for the Gibbon’s Rent garden from the community point of view.

2.00-5.30       MDR Associates open studio. Enjoy a nose around this Southwark based 
        architecture practice running family friendly activities. A moss installation
                        will also be created in the yard backing onto Gibbon's Rent.

3.00-3.20 Helen Firminger from Bankside Open Spaces Trust will speak about the past, present and future of community actions for gardens in SE1.


Sunday, 24 June

1.00-3.00 CityScapes will lead a Garden Trail Walk around the South Bank area to visit examples of local community gardens that share similar urban green initiatives. The walk begins at Jubilee Gardens and ends at Gibbon’s Rent for tea and cake (walk approx. 2 miles). Should you wish to join please email quoting ‘Garden Trail Walk’ in your subject line.

3.00-3.30 Tea and cakes will be provided for a discussion with residents about their visions for the future of Gibbon’s Rent

3.30-4.00 Architect, Andrew Burns and Landscape Designer, Sarah Eberle discuss their collaborative creation of Gibbon’s Rent giving insight into how the concept came about and what is next for this communal space. If you plan to attend please email quoting ‘Gibbon's Discussion’ in your subject line.

9.30-11.00 Electric Pedals will be coming to Gibbon's Rent to bring you a free, cycle-powered outdoor screening of The Secret Garden. To attend please email with your name quoting ‘Cycle-Powered Gibbon’s’.


This project was made possible through the generous support of Team London Bridge, Southwark Council, The Peter De Haan Charitable TrustNSW Architects Registration Board,CPM GroupMACE and Farebrother Chartered Surveyors.

In Partnership with

Team London Bridge and Southwark Council