‘Sow Housing’ is a research project in East Oxford. It helped to inspire our practice name ‘Sow Space’, as its rich composition of community-led activity within a high quality built environment, represents our ethos and what we believe in. Primarily residential, the mixed-use development also includes a seed shop, greengrocer, restaurant, and cooking school. These are all run by local residents and supplied with edible produce grown on and within the building fabric.
Set within an urban environment, the layout of the development has been carefully and dynamically planned out to maximise density, without scrimping on open green space. Rooftop allotments, with terracotta pot balustrades, provide an abundance of growing space. Green wall shelves, window boxes, and espalier fruit trees supplement yield, while the herb spiral rooftop viewing point acts as a hub for residents with views out towards the dreaming spires.