Kings Cross, in the throws of development, is a perfect area to implement the first sequences of ICUP. The Kings Cross master plan overview states that pedestrian flow within the area will hugely increase as each stage of the plan is completed. Estimating using data on potential residents alone, this means a population increase of over 4000 circulating the area, all with limited personal green space available for cultivation. The ICUP focuses on make this space, which is very deficient within central London, a commodity rather than a luxury unattainable by most inner-city dwellers.
My initial proposal makes the most of the area it is in on the canal. Surrounded by many sources of pedestrian flow, such as office blocks, train stations and schools, the formation of the sequences aims to utilise the presence of multiple levels around the canal to facilitate easy pedestrian flow. While doing this, it also provides an opportunity for intensification of land use of the site, resulting in the proposal creating a dual layer of cultivation points, using vertical elements for plant growth, as well as horizontal.
The modules are simple and easy to reproduce for future growth along the canal, made predominantly from a steel structure with concrete foundations. The pipes within the sequence and surrounding the hub are made from PVC, above the hub is a glass umbrella, collecting rainwater. Spanning over the upper layer of cultivation and providing a walkway are steel suspension cables integrated with holders filled with moss, with the aim that this moss will grow over and around the cables, providing a cushioned surface.
The ICUP aims to provide this green space while strengthening the spirit of community. Urban Farms are places of cooperation and interaction. In the Granary square site there are a number of different users who could potentially work together: The daily through flow of tourists, requiring areas to eat; The Kerb pop-up restaurants that function within Granary Square on a day to day basis; The office workers and students, who spend the majority of the weekdays occupying the area; and the Residents, who will remain rooted within the area for most of the year. Currently, although there is interaction within the groups and some interaction between the Kerb restaurants and their users, the potential for cross-group collaboration is somewhat untapped. The intent of the ICUP is to provide a platform for this collaboration to happen.
The land, cultivated predominantly by residents with possible input from students and office workers, will be cultivated to provide fresh herbs, fruit and vegetables. These can then be a stock source for the restaurants, who’s owners would, in turn, provide discounts for those involved in the cultivation of the stock. These restaurants can then provide food at full price for the multitudes of tourists present in Kings Cross every day with reduced costs, putting a small portion of the increased profits towards buying more seeds to continue the cycle
Additionally, the proposal provides Hub spaces that can be adjusted according to needs. Within the Granary Square site, there is one devoted to providing dining areas located close to the Kerb restaurants area, there is another hub focused more on seating and relaxation nearer the office buildings to the south east of the site, and there are two hubs dedicated to creating conditions for seedling nurseries. These hubs are set to cater for those who do not wish to cultivate but prefer to enjoy the area.