London Development Agency
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Dalston project recognised by series of awards

'Making Space in Dalston' - the London Development Agency (LDA) £1 million initiative to improve Dalston's open spaces - has been recognised by a series of awards.

The initiative - a series of 76 micro-projects designed by J&L Gibbons and muf architecture/art, developed by Hackney Council and the LDA's Design for London and drawn up in close collaboration with local residents, businesses and organisations - has been lauded by the Landscape Institute Awards, the Hackney Design Awards and Capital Growth. It was shortlisted for the international Urban Intervention Awards and is shortlisted for the London Planning Awards in January 2011.

Making Space in Dalston is helping to rejuvenate the area by 'joining up' the existing fabric of Dalston with the new housing, public square and station at Dalston Junction. It is part of the Mayor of London's £220 million 'Great Outdoors' public realm improvement programme.

The success of the initiative - and in particular the way it was developed with and through local residents, businesses and organisations - is now being recognised locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.

The breadth of awards demonstrates the depth of the overall initiative.

The Landscape Institute Awards recognised Making Space in Dalston under its Communication and Presentation category - awarded to "individuals and organisations whose vision leads the way in creating innovative and dynamic landscape."

The Hackney Design Awards gave an award to "The Barn and Eco Garden", designed by J&L Gibbons, muf and EXYZT at the Eastern Curve - part of the Making Space in Dalston initiative.

The judges said that

"The Barn and Eco Gardens is an excellent example of how an abandoned piece of land can be affordably transformed into an asset. Every inch has a strong sense of community spirit."

At the Capital Growth Edible Estates awards, the Best Estate Garden award was given to the Somerford and Shacklewell Tenants and Residents Association, as one of the 76 micro-projects who transformed the Somerford Grove estate in Dalston by planting fruit trees on unloved grass patches, filling disused raised beds with organic seedlings and distributing produce over the last year.

Berlin's new Urban Intervention Awards recognised the overall impact of the scheme's Barn and Eco Garden, which was on the final short-list and is currently exhibited at Berlin's former Tempelhof airport.

The Barn and Eco Garden project is also short-listed for the Royal Town Planning Institute's London Planning Awards, which will be announced in January 2011. London Development Agency Deputy Chief Executive Peter Bishop said:

"Making Space in Dalston is getting the recognition it deserves. It connects Dalston's existing communities with the new town centre and creates a series of quality public spaces. The London Development Agency's investment and partnership with Hackney has really made the most of the opportunities brought to Dalston by the East London Line extension."

The projects were developed on behalf of the London Development Agency and Hackney Council by a design team led by J&L Gibbons and muf architecture/art. With the help of local residents, organisations and artists, the various projects have brought new green space, outdoor play equipment in a mirrored storage container, new signs and lighting and improved paving.

Notes to editors

  1.  The 76 projects in 'Making Space in Dalston' were conceived and developed through a unique collaboration between community organisations, the creative industries and the local neighbourhood, and between the London Borough of Hackney and the third sector.

  2. 'London's Great Outdoors' sets out the Mayor of London's vision for improving public spaces in London - aiming to make London's streets, squares, parks and green and water spaces fit for a great world city and help improve the quality of life in the capital. London's Great Outdoors - A Manifesto for Public Space' is supported by two practical guides, 'Better Streets' and 'Better Green and Water Spaces'. Together they set out the Mayor of London's vision for improving public spaces in London. For further information please go to

  3. The regeneration of Dalston town centre will create more than 500 new homes, a public library and archive, new shops and restaurants. It has already delivered a new London Overground station at Dalston Junction. At the heart of the development will be 'Dalston Square' - the largest new public space to be created in the area for over 100 years.

  4. Making Space in Dalston design team: J&L Gibbons (landscape architects), muf architecture/art (architects/artists), Appleyards DWB (cost consultants), Martin Stockley Associates (Engineers), Objectif (Graphics)

  5. Making Space in Dalston artist commissions: Nicolas Henninger (EXYZT) for the barn at the Eastern Curve, Gary Webb commissioned for the toy box mirrored cladding at Gillett Square.

  6. Berlin's Urban Intervention Awards aim to "honour the vital process of a creative innovative exploration of the city and inspire emulation".

  7. The Barn and Eco Garden has continued to develop as the Dalston Eastern Curve Garden - a place for people and plants, run as a community garden space by local people and organisation.


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