Eco_Hub

Eco_Hub

Location

Garrison Street, Birmingham, United Kingdom

52.48086869999999 | -1.8721588999999312

The Eco Hub is a community led attempt at small-scale urban farming. The proposal transforms the street into a Roman Road by redesigning the walls on site and having a virtual connection with the back gardens of the houses. The wall was redesigned as a gabion wall (filled with crushed bricks) with the addition of a concrete framework that was determined based on the heights and widths of the plants to be grown on the wall. To exploit the wavy framework more, it is pushed in and out of the wall in places, to create some interesting spaces and ramps. From this, the mini activity spaces, birdhouses and think pods were born. The activity spaces are community-led. It involves educating the people about what kinds of plants grow there, what they can be used for, how they can be made use of and how the waste recycling works. The benefits for the community involve having the plants and their uses to their disposal. The uses range from tea to food to medicine to textile, so there is a lot of energy saved.  The intervention is an attempt at small-scale urban farming – only it doesn’t produce food but instead has other uses. The infrastructure of it is both physical (plants) and virtual (community). The plants – the ecology, drive it. The plants determine the design and hierarchy of the wall. The community becomes part of the infrastructure as well, by helping and benefiting from it.

 

A map highlighting the wall climbing plants found locally with links to potential waste sites and industries they can be used in
The site is situated in a very complex environment surrounded by all the different aspects that form a city. These aspects include industry, city centre, community suburbs, empty waste sites, derelict buildings, overgrown vegetation, etc. Therefore, the site is seen as an opportunity to cohesively bring together all these aspects in a series of interventions.
Exploded Axonometric
The hub is a self-sustaining mini ecosystem in itself. This closed cycle diagram explains how a seed is planted, then its full grown product is made use of, from which the waste is recycled to reproduce soil used for the seeds.
A diagram explaining the separation of activities and plants
Diagram explaining the site transformation
Site Plan