Last year, Hackney City Farm held a design competition open to architects, designers and students for the design of a new shop and info center. The Farm requested that the shop use recycled materials and construction techniques that explored the use of waste as a resource. Julian Bond, Sigrid Bylander, Lucy Paton and Benedetta Rogers won the competition with their proposal Sill-to-Sill. Drawing inspiration from the local neighborhood, Victorian terrace houses with brick facades and sash windows, the team came with a concept that mimicked the brick facade and created generous windows and sills.
The team used recycled and reclaimed materials along with a lot of volunteer help to finish the project. Discarded sash windows are repurposed and playfully inserted into the new facade. Wide sills become benches, counters, roof lights, notice boards or shelves that display plants and herbs while also bringing lots of natural light inside. The team calculated that there is a vastly underutilized growing resource in the UK – window sill space. In fact, there is around 600 acres (400 football pitches) of window sill ‘growing space’ in the UK and the team hopes that their project could encourage more people to grow plants, herbs and even veggies in their windows.
The project gets its name, Sill-to-Sill from the idea that plants from their sill will make it home to yours. In addition to the sash windows, the project also makes use of old scaffolding boards to clad the facade in a pattern reminiscent of bricks. Inside the Hackney City Farm Shop, you’ll find toys, gifts, farm mementos, eggs, organic vegetables and more.