The proposed Tolworth School of Food sits on the threshold of the Chessington Park industrial estate and the local nature reserve, Tolworth Court Farm Fields. Here the local community and schools will have the opportunity to learn about food preservation, growing good food, eating healthy and nourishing food and, how to cut down on food waste. This school gives access to new community allotment gardens, cookery classes and an urban farming space for mushrooms. Following preservation of food, I explored the preservation of organic materials including thatch, which in turn informed the school’s form.
The future of the Tolworth School of Food includes expanding the thatched roofs with forms inspired by industrial buildings into the industrial estate. By doing so, new urban farming spaces will be created as well as bring back a traditional craft of thatching, perhaps a new strategy for industrial estates. With this expansion, a new water hose festival is introduced where water hoses placed around the industrial site guarantee fire safety and create a community festival celebrating their area.
This project developed from the first two briefs of the year, material anthropology and gateway design. Material anthropology influenced the exploration of organic material starting at the preservation of mushrooms. The gateway design influenced the programme of education of food through foraging and harvesting.