‘Meanwhile use community garden’ opens in Holborn

Gaias Garden Build 4 Dominvs Play Nice (C) Francis Augusto and Play Nice

A ‘meanwhile use community garden’ has been opened in Holborn to give the vacant site purpose while developers wait to break ground. 

Real-estate platform and investment group Dominvs Group is allowing public access to the plot, with the project forming part of its social value proposition across all its developments.

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Locals Londoners have worked hard to transform this meanwhile use space into a community garden.

The meanwhile use community garden will offer free workshops, exhibitions and events to Londoners looking to learn more about sustainability through workshops, installations, and performances.

Named Gaia’s Garden, the initiative will provide a summer oasis in the heart of the City throughout summer and is located at 61 Holborn Viaduct, in the shadow of St Paul’s Cathedral.

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Creative studio Play Nice is collaborating with Dominvs Group on the meanwhile use community garden, along with Culture Mile and the Foundation for Future London.

Over 200 young people from across the capital were recruited to help with everything from planting and building the garden – as well as curating a programme of workshops and talks.

The garden’s sustainable landscape was designed by the urban transformation charity Urban Growth, with temporary structures made from material sourced from nearby construction sites. Once the meanwhile use community garden finishes, these temporary structures will be redistributed across London, finding continued use in local communities across the capital.

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Gaias Garden has brought young members of the local community together. All images by Francis Augusto and Play Nice.

Jay Ahluwalia, Senior Director of Dominvs Group, said: “This initiative shows how culture and commerce can work together to ensure the Square Mile is a fantastic place for to live, work and visit.

“Last month, we launched a brand-new Social Value Unit as part of our continued commitment to put community value at the very heart of our future growth plans and development schemes.”

Maria Adebowale-Schwarte, CEO of the Foundation for Future London, added:  “Gaia’s Garden is a wonderful example of how commerce and culture can work hand in hand to rejuvenate the City’s public green spaces, while empowering young Londoners to gain new skills in producing, placemaking, and programming.

“The Foundation for Future London is pleased to see Play Nice’s innovative Fusion Prize-winning project flourish and grow from strength to strength through this valuable collaboration with Dominvs, and we can’t wait for Londoners to get involved in this new meanwhile initiative.”

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