‘UAL Green Roof’

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UAL Green Roof Garden‘, 2016-to date, Society began by Georgia Clayton-Jeeves and Lou Baker2016-to date. Central Saint Martin’s Rooftop, London.

The ‘Green Roof Garden‘ is a staff-student collaboration to bring a healing and restorative green space to The Granary Building’s underutilised 100-foot long terrace. My involvement began with the founding of the garden, lasted through the organization phase, planning, gaining permissions, and organizing how to allow students onto the roof to participate, into the building phase, and the first year of working on and enjoying the garden.

In a building where space is at a premium and students and staff of different disciplines are segregated by locked doors, we felt it a crying shame, the terrace, had remained locked and barred to students since an incident in the first months of the building opening, five years prior to the projects beginning. In the mid-winter, at the beginning of 2016, we stood on the windswept and forlorn terrace, a cross course, mixed age group of students, lecturers, administration staff, and library workers, most of whom had never met each other before. United in the shared belief that gardening was a restorative force, a force for good and change, and that through it we could have agency over this space, improve it, and through that do something positive for our sense of togetherness and wellbeing, and perhaps begin to offer these things to the rest of our colleagues and coworkers in the building, we designed a garden.

By Summer 2016, our materials were decided upon and sourced, our first planters were designed and built and our first seeds had grown into plants, we had had some harvests and our space was thriving. No longer deserted and unloved the terrace was a space of non-hierarchical community. The beginning of the student society in September 2016 marked an opening up of the space to students, something we had battled for since the beginning, marking a step forwards in students regaining the institutions’ trust with a space they deserve to be able to use, and a key step forwards in ownership and agency for our CSM community in our new home at Granary Square.

The project continues to go from strength to strength and you can follow its progress here; https://www.facebook.com/thegreenroofcsm or here https://www.instagram.com/ualgreenroof/