Gallery – Oakfield students design and build new den for their allotment

A flagship project from the No Limits learning programme, Made in Oakfield, has seen students from Oakfield Residential School design and build a shelter on their allotment plot.

Working alongside architects MATT+FIONA, the young people were tasked with designing a den for the space a couple of months ago. With students aged between 11 and 16, Oakfield caters for those who have not managed in mainstream education and require specialist educational provision. The students use their allotment for extracurricular activities and as an outdoor learning space, and for some it is the first time they have a dedicated space of their own.

During the design process the students were keen to see the building feature a wall that could be completely opened in the summer months, as well as a special look-out tower so that they could admire the rest of the allotment from a height.

Architect Matthew Springett and educator Fiona MacDonald worked with the young people on these ideas, then put together plans to include all their designs. Matthew said “We believe enabling young people to design and then build their own spaces empowers them to take ownership of their built environment. The project accelerated from the seed of an idea to completion within two months, enabling them to realise the transformation of this unique and special place.”

This week the Oakfield students built their allotment den over five intensive days with Matthew, Fiona and a team of dedicated volunteers. See their journey below…

Made in Oakfield. Photo: © Patrick Mateer