International PARK(ing) Day London
Concert Hall Approach, South Bank, SE1
September 16th, 2011
Project Status: Complete
Sector: Public Realm
We came, we turfed, we transformed! PARK(ing) Day is an annual worldwide event where artists, designers and citizens transform metered parking spots into temporary public parks. It is an open source project and the original concept is by Rebar Group Inc.
We wanted to do something inclusive rather than exclusive and, in a light-hearted way, bring the buzz of the main avenue at Chelsea Flower Show to the streets of London. Our installations aim was to illustrate how easy it is, with very little money, to transform urban, grey spaces into vibrant, green and fun places to be.
By placing gardens in unexpected places, like parking bays, we hoped to turn the heads of people engrossed in their day-to-day routines or provoke a wry smile on a commuter’s face. This is public disruption of the gentlest variety. This was our first foray into pop up planted sculptural installations and it caught the attention of key organisations, which in turn, launched us into a very busy and successful 2012.
Our International PARK(ing) Day 2011 Bays included:
– The Classic Cliché garden, a formal Italianate number complete with immaculate lawn and steel pétanque balls; a satirical comment on serious, manicured, keeping-up-with-the-Joneses style aspirational gardening.
– Green Carpet Catwalk garden – celebrating London Fashion Week we presented a catwalk in a parking bay showcasing sustainable and ethical London based fashion brands. The show was accompanied by live music from Joe Cang.
– The ‘Parking Bay’ garden – A rusting old 1959 El Camino pick-up truck, planted with an abundance flora with a centre piece of a 3 meter bay tree.
– The Edible Bus Stop garden – Featured a lawn with road marking style white lines down the centre and three wheelbarrows parked each side. The wheelbarrows were planted with luscious edible plants.
– The Mobile Mini Woodland – with over 20 different trees from top canopy through to low canopy, giving you that immersive woodland experience right in the heart of the city.
– In addition, a troop of street artists roamed, art installations and remote control parking cones playfully teased the passers by.
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