Msa Mark Stevens Architects Model 1015

Contractors Yard

Following our award-winning transformation of the derelict glasshouse to create a flexible events space at Highgate Bowl, we began working at Contractors Yard. The Yard, adjacent to Omved Gardens, will house and extend the program of exhibitions, workshops, performances, creating collaborations around the topics of food, creativity and ecological transformation.

Development on the site, formerly a garden landscaping business, had been fiercely opposed with multiple applications refused from 1970 to 2012. However, our ’understanding of the place, continued relationship with the site’s landscape architect, and ongoing engagement with the local community gave us an insight few others had. We secured planning  for transforming the site into a dynamic new learning environment with five new buildings were well received by the local authority.

The large and small scale structures form an ensemble of buildings that draw visitors across the carefully landscaped site. The large buildings are home to seminar space and a cookhouse providing workshops around sustainable food production, including events and initiatives with the World Food Programme and The Chefs’ Manifesto. These events aim to engage the public and other key stakeholders by bringing these programmes to a wider audience. Smaller buildings include a seed bank, the broom which functions as a sustainable energy provider, and toilet facilities.