Community building, action and representation to understand, communicate and present a locally-driven, resident-led vision for the future of the Trellick Triangle.

“It was called Meanwhile as an act of defiance”

IDK completed an engagement and vision document for the Meanwhile Gardens factory building on behalf of the Metronomes Steel Orchestra and Meanwhile Gardens Community Association. The document was compiled through a period of extensive research and consultation that began in 2018 with the Grow Meanwhile campaign, and continued to the level of RIBA stage 1.

A collective of staff, trustees, volunteers and consultants came together to feed into the vision which placed the Factory as a critical organ serving the wider ecosystem that is Meanwhile Gardens – and so Golborne and North Kensington more broadly. Located at the heart of the diverse and culturally rich area of Golborne in North Kensington, the Factory will be a new institution for two organisations that have been resident in Meanwhile Gardens since the mid-1970s: Meanwhile Gardens Community Association and the Metronomes Steel Orchestra. The work contained within the report is designed to show that, with restoration and operational change, the building can become a healthy, productive and sustainable community hub in North Kensington.

The project brings together the worlds of gardening and music through spaces for learning, performing, sharing, nourishing and growing. If realised, the renovated Factory, an architectural remnant of Kensal Town’s industrial past, will become a sustainable and creative hub for the local community and beyond.

Meanwhile Gardens combines the rural and the hyper-urban, sitting at the foot of the Grade II* brutalist Trellick Tower and next to the Grade II listed Cobden Club, a former working men’s club. Meanwhile Gardens began in 1976 on a barren stretch of derelict land in Kensal Town, just south of the Paddington Arm of the Grand Union Canal. Jamie McCollough, the artist, engineer and visionary who founded it, worked tirelessly to get the permissions, paperwork and money to transform this derelict, fenced-in land in what was then North Paddington into a garden for the whole community.

The gardens continue to perform the role of bringing people together – no surprise given that it requires constant attention and care. Golborne is one of the most desirable neighbourhoods in the city, but this vitality exists only because there of the community spirit that created it.

Engagement / Community hub
2022 - Ongoing
Collaborators: Counterculture LLP