With the downward spiral of the economies around the world one thing is for sure the housing market has well and truly stalled. The main reason being not that there is a lack of demand but the mix of speculative building and the crazy loaning of before 2008 has left many homes oversized for what people can afford. I worked in social housing before and could see it all over the UK where 1 – 2 bedroom homes are shunned for 4 – 6 bedroom luxury homes. Often the smaller homes were remodelled and extended or bulldozed to build a bigger home. Issue with this today is there is a lot of spaces out there that aren’t seeing construction take place as corporations and landowners sit waiting for the next bubble to begin before starting construction again. This leaves many empty construction lots all over the world which could be utilized for urban farming as we see in the photo above. Its all being done in crates so highly mobile. This feeds local needs as well as creates jobs on land that is currently stuck in limbo hope we will be seeing more of these styled projects to remove eyesore land into useable farm lots.
In Toronto is an environmental community centre Evergreen Brickworks has taken a derelict Don Valley Brick Works and transformed it into a sustainable urban development. The majority of the works is outdoors on its 12 hectare site, there is urban farming as well as the bright green community centre which has been constructed from a shipping container as well as other materials salvaged from around the old brick yard. It has been designed and constructed by Levitt Goodman Architects.
A 20ft shipping container has been refurbished and redeveloped into a community centre with the Evergreen’s signature colour, barn doors have been added to open up both ends of the building to “welcome” visitors. Adding a chain to the roof with a scupper rainwater trickles down the chain and is stored in a water butt. The interior has been decorated with TimberSIL which is a non toxic alternative to pressure treating timbers by using a sodium-silicate based process. Another interesting feature is the furniture made from recycled wood pallets using furniture maker Andrew Reesor and a group of grade 10 students.
Although the project is temporary the shipping container will later be utilized as a warming spot and kiosk for skateboarding in the winter while in the summer used as an information desk.
Photography by :- Ben Rahn/A-Frame