NBS Source

Southwyck House (the Barrier Block), Brixton, London


In 2016 award-winning landscape designers, The Edible Bus Stop, were commissioned by the Brixton BID to deliver a legacy installation for the Brixton Design Trail as part of the London Design Festival.

Their brief was to create a parklet at the entrance to this famously foreboding building. The space had been habitually populated by street drinkers and labelled an anti-social environment by the residents and neighbouring businesses. The brief was to challenge the notion that the addition of seating and creating a space to dwell would increase anti-social behaviour and, on the contrary, that good design could improve perceptions of safety and empower a sense of wellbeing in a community.

During the summer, planting beds were refurbished and many edibles and herbs, including fruit trees, were planted. Several Vestre Stripes elements were installed to punctuate the space with communal seating. The parklet was an instant success and quickly populated by residents of all ages, passers-by and visitors to local businesses. As a result, the ‘test-bed’ has now become a permanent legacy; an exemplar of how local stakeholder commissioning and intelligent socially minded design can be an agent of social change to create spaces of genuine community value.

Client: Brixton BID

Landscape Design: The Edible Bus Stop

Address: Southwyck House

Coldharbour LaneBrixtonLondon


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