Articles Octopus Community Plant Nursery Pavilion opens

The Octopus Community Plant Nursery pavilion, designed and constructed by Grimshaw, in collaboration with Octopus Community Network →, was opened on 10 June by Islington Councillor Rowena Champion.

The pavilion, part of an existing site in the Hollins and McCall Estate in Tuffnell Park, North London, is intended to be used as a much-needed learning space, providing shelter for workshops and events that focus on this community-led food and plant growing initiative.

The project was delivered as part of Grimshaw’s Positive Works programme, where the practice works directly with local communities and organisations to help bring about change for people and places through projects and initiatives that have direct urban and social impact. The Octopus Community Network  →is a charity that runs eight growing sites located in highly urban areas, providing access to nature, education, and spaces for local people to engage and grow food which is then distributed in the community.

A timber construction, the pavilion, which incorporates onsite rainwater harvesting, was delivered for the Octopus Community Network by Grimshaw with structural engineers Simpleworks ― volunteering their expertise, creativity and hands-on construction skills to self-build this important community facility. Construction contractors Multiplex and Wates provided the much-needed materials for the construction of the structure.

“The Octopus Community Network is an inspirational hands-on community project that brings to life on a local, connected scale, the overriding need for people to feel part of our natural environment. And we hope the pavilion, located at their education hub, will help to further bring focus for this community of growers. It has been a real pleasure designing and self-building this project.”

Stuart Grahn, Associate Principal, Grimshaw


The opening of the pavilion also officially launched a science and technology initiative for the borough, where, inspired by the Octopus Community Plant Nursery, Islington Borough will identify sites for urban agriculture in the borough, led by Dr Dan Evans of Cranfield University.

The Grimshaw team: Chrissa Stamatopoulou, Donnchadha Gallagher, Andrew Thomas, Stuart Grahn, Naomi Danos and Will Ramsay.