Urban Barn by Muf 04.08.11

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A barn has appeared in east London, nestling behind 
a secret door off a busy main road in Hackney.

The Dalston Garden is the latest project in an ongoing collaboration between the council and local art and architecture provocateur Muf – alongside urban design and landscape architecture practice J&L Gibbons – to preserve and promote what is special about this fast-changing area of the city.

A bucolic mirror image to the rather more sterile Dalston Square over the road, the garden follows on from last year's temporary mill and wheatfield (icon 076) by French group EXYZT, which changed people's perceptions about what this abandoned railway site could be.

With the help of a local youth group, Muf has worked with EXYZT to construct a majestic "barn" at one end of the garden, its five bays providing a sturdy frame that can accrue all manner of additions. Residents have already adopted the space and begun to construct seats from leftover timber and shelves for a book-swap library, while others have planted vegetables in the railway sleeper flowerbeds.

"It's like a very long engagement," says Muf's Liza Fior, describing the organic process of testing the site's potentials. "It will find out what kind of garden it wants to be, and develop its own programme through use."

 

 

Image

Lewis Jones

 

Words

Oliver Wainwright

quotes story

Residents have already adopted the space and begun to construct seats from leftover timber and shelves for a book-swap library, while others have planted vegetables in the railway sleeper flowerbeds

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