Base Associates for Vauxhall City Farm
Vauxhall City Farm serves the communities of Lambeth and surrounding boroughs – which include areas with the highest deprivation and greatest cultural diversity in the UK. It has strong community roots, having grown from an informal co-operative (drawn from local residents who cleared a bombsite with their bare hands) into one of the best known and loved city farms within half a mile of Big Ben and enjoyed by 50,000 visitors a year.
Growing demand meant the Farm urgently needed to expand and improve its facilities to secure its longer-term sustainability. Base Associates met farm representatives and starting brainstorming ways to update their facilities that had fallen into a state of disrepair and could have resulted in its closure.
The driving principle was to create an exemplar mixed-use scheme that would benefit the local community that lived, worked or visited it, while creating one of the most unusual affordable housing developments in the UK. This sits above a live operating city farm while being in one of the biggest regeneration zones in Europe.
By the scheme has future-proofed the charity for all to use and visit. It has attracted local businesses which use the facilities for workshop and social team building events, which has helped pay for programmes to support disadvantaged and disabled members of the local community. This boosts their confidence and aspirations, and promotes emotional, mental, social and physical well-being as well as developing their environmental awareness.