The People’s Pergola

Recently at the workshop we welcomed five MA Architecture students from the University of East London who were undertaking a project with Matter Architecture and Lucy Harrison for a live brief for Waltham Forest Council. Linear Park in Leyton is a new landscaping project as part of the Making Places scheme by Create London. Originally the site of former Victorian houses, the project sets out to honour and reveal the stories of the people who previously lived there.

The students’ brief was to design and install a pergola for the park that would provide shelter and encourage climbing plants to grow and form part of the piece. The design was to be socially and environmentally friendly while being stable and safe for the public to interact with.

The group started off the project here at Blackhorse Workshop with a metalwork induction and welding tuition from workshop technicians. They had chosen to work with reinforced steel bar to be able to create a lightweight lattice framework that would solidify over time with the encouragement of climber and creeper plants. After learning how to weld they were able to come up with small model structures, envisaging the pergola design together with their methods of fabrication. The group met with their client, Waltham Forest Council, to pitch their ideas and finalise the design.

This was a two week process from induction to install. Although it was a tight turnaround, they received help and support from Blackhorse Workshop and Matter Architecture creating an impressive design for the future that will adapt and grow with time.