RUSS’s co-design process continues apace, with our Residents Group visiting the Church Grove project site
Church Grove Diary – June 2016 by Amanda Gettrup, Residents Group
Photos by Martin O’Royan, RUSS Volunteer
On Saturday 30th April On Saturday 30th April a 60 strong group met in a tiny courtyard of our soon to be local pub the Ladywell Tavern. People who turned up a bit late had to poke their heads through the back door of the pub as Sam welcomed us to what felt like a secret flash mob gathering. As we walked through our prospective neighbourhood and started introducing ourselves it turned out that many were Russ members, architecture students and volunteers curious to find out more about the project and finally see the infamous site.
It dawned on us just how unique and exciting this project was going to be with all these interested parties eager to be involved. It also dawned on us what huge imagination was needed to envisage homes and gardens on the barren, bumpy, grassy site we saw before us. People spread out to investigate all the corners, views, adjacent buildings and landscape, including the trees, river (10 feet down a concrete gully) the train line running alongside and the less than pretty council depot building opposite. There would be challenges but there would be so so much potential!
We returned to the pub to have a drink and socialise with the group before heading up to the pub gallery for a series of short talks. RUSS volunteer Zohra Chiheb started by showing examples of co-housing developments from Berlin. Omid showed a home movie of he and his wife living off grid on a canal boat. Dave Dayes talked about building his own house on pioneering self build project Walters Way. Finally, Tomasz gave an informative talk on easy to build and environmentally sound bricks which might be an option for us to use.