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Local Food Production Centre - Queen Street Gardens, Edinburgh

Part 2 Project 2009
Kevin Walker
Robert Gordon University Aberdeen UK
A privately owned garden in Edinburgh, north of Princess Street, with a sunken location puts you in a secluded place. Historically, it was renowned in Edinburgh for its fantastic fruit production. Children’s allotments were introduced in the 1920’s and grew in scale over the site as part of the 2nd World War ‘Dig for Victory’ campaign. An article in The Independent of January 2009, asked “Is it time to dig for Victory again?” In relation to climate change and financial uncertainty.

This project brings a wider and more developmental approach to tackling community food issues across the city by creating a sustainable local food economy, done primarily through my building, a Local Food Production Centre.

These facilities offer education in the growing and maintaining of orchards, allotments of any size. Market facilities for the community groups and anyone with produce, to come together in the heart of the city, to sell and sample. Café facilities will utilise local ingredients into their food.

Gardens

The earliest typical type was walled gardens. Within the enclosures were an expression of perceived nature and the ability to wander aimlessly exploring the plantings. Each walled garden would house another type, arrangement, style and even function.

Walls

Stretching out from the area of activity, the walls tie the building into the landscape, disappearing into the ground. By navigating the trees, some trees are now within the building. This allows the distinction between external and internal to be dissolved.

Roof

The sunken northern location of the building means the south terrace offers views into and over the building. Determining the roof should be celebrated in form and materials, whilst being sensitive to the site. The fluctuations in the topography will be resembled in its form, internally and externally.
Copper has been chosen for its evolving colour and reflective qualities. The weathering of the copper will allow the roof to evolve with the landscape and trees, also allowing spectacular views of the building from all directions of the site.

Kevin Walker


Kevin Walker was the most outstanding student in my 2008/ 2009 masters unit. He approached a difficult brief in an absolutely rigorous and masterly way, with meticulous research and complete understanding of the task set.

His analysis of context, gathering of complex site information and assessment of community need was excellent and his approach to the task at hand highly praiseworthy.

Students who are good at analysis, research and developing an interesting brief are sometimes let down by the standard of their finished project. This was not the case with Kevin Walker. He took the information he had collected in the first semester and used it to develop not only a persuasive and complex brief but also a very interesting building; which is sensitive to its location, meticulously detailed, beautifully presented and absolutely believable.

It is therefore without hesitation that I put him forward for the Presidents medal.


Professor Alan Dunlop FRIAS

Scott Sutherland School Of Architecture Robert Gordon University

Regnier Chair of Architecture and Visiting Professor Kansas State University


Tutor(s)

2009
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