The Grenville Allotment Garden is an innovative community project that integrates a student design  with community led bottom up assembly.

The project was designed by a team of design students in their final year at the American Intercontinental University in London with structural input provided by Buro Happold. The first of its kind in a public park, the project has been commissioned by Islington Council and Initiated by FROGG (FRiends of Greenville Gardens), whom represent the community.

The site, situated in a part of Grenville Gardens, in North London is contaminated by the presence of Japanese knotweed and no planting can be in contact with the ground for a period of three years to allow treatment. This required an alternate ground condition in the form of raised bed boxes that are not in physical contact with the contaminated ground.

The project consists of 18 individual wooden planters each built and stewarded by an individual family in the surrounding community. Each plugs into an elevated wooden structure and watering system that channels harvested rainwater collected from an adjacent rooftop.The design, inspired by the form of agricultural communities that have developed along river floodplains, mimics a branching river that distributes water to various plots of land . Individuals can chose where they want to place their allotment box in relation to the water source and height they require. The branching design was developed digitally and is adaptive to the site restraints and slopes that are required for the water to reach all boxes.

Realized with the generous help of Murphy group contractors and Architects Network acting as lead consultants, the design process engaged with many members of the community as each individual box owner physically built an intrinsic part of the overall whole. The planters are positioned at different heights and modules that can be chosen throughout the structure in order to cater children, the elderly and all residents of the community. The final form develops bottom up and the entire structure becomes a living entity, open for change and growth as more individuals get involved and contribute their part. This approach was developed so the project is open ended and can continue to evolve long after it ends creating a focal point for the community.

Site: Grenville Gardens



Grenville Road, N194EH





Islington Council built Grenville Gardens in 1984.  FROGG (Friends of Grenville Gardens) was formed August 2010 by Sarah Roth with the encouragement and assistance of Sarah Armstrong, Islington MAGPI Safer Neighbourhoods Team Manager.  They are a community organisation, whose aims are the enhancement and maintenance of the park for the benefit of all residents in the area of Finsbury Park. They are a highly diverse and multi-cultural group and meet on a regular basis to discuss neighbourhood problems and issues.

Individuals Involved


Ittai Frank – Design Director

Luke Epp – External Tutor

Design Team : Nora Ahmeti, Nesma Alsherif, Dimitri Eristavi, Denisa Guler, Loujeine Kamoun, Elisa Kautto

Onur Ozkaya – Fabrication Consultant

Special thanks to Ilona Kreynis, Dr. Randolf Cooper, Mark Gower and Leith Adjina

FROGG (Friends of Grenville Gardens)

Sarah Roth – Chair

Claire Needham – Vice Chair

Sandie Munro – Treasurer

Islington Council

Shan Burges – Green Space: North Area Parks manager/ Environment and regeneration

Sarah Armstrong, Islington MAGPI Safer Neighbourhoods Team Manage

Lucy Riley – Green Space:Project Development officer

Architects Network

Graham Newsome- Lead Consultant

For any comments or questions please feel free to contact Ittai Frank at:


(C) The design and its documentation are the property of the designer. Any use or reproduction of the contents of this site is to be authorized.

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