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Woodland Place

Hackney City Farm, 2018

The Woodland Place at Hackney City Farm was officially opened to the public in October 2018. The concept was overwhelmingly chosen by the public as their favourite idea for a play & learning project. The project successfully received funding from the Postcode Lottery Trust.

The new pavilion encourages visitors to explore the woodland and provides a viewing platform over the fields to the animals. The space will be a catalyst for new activities to take place including, the winter solstice, the annual punch festival, music events, woodland foraging courses, yoga and much more. The farm will also be using it as an outside classroom for the farms school.


The project took 2 weeks to build working with UEL students and local volunteers. The roof is finished with tetra-pak tiles, the structure is made up of reused railway sleeper foundations, a timber frame and scaffold board decking. The design itself was based on the agricultural form of a grain store or silo. It was important to design something that felt appropriate for the farmyard while creating a functional space. The roof tapers up to the "cap" which is topped off with a skylight. 


Over the past 3 months tetra-paks have been harvested from local cafes. Washed, cut and folded into approximately 1200 tiles. Tetra Paks are made up of a number of components: 75% paperboard (made from wood), 20% polyethylene (a type of plastic) and 5% aluminum, plus the plastic spout. When this packaging is recycled, due to the complexity of the container it takes a lot of energy to separate each element. The recycled elements are then turned into lower grade items. A Tetra-pak itself can only be produced from virgin materials making it a highly unsustainable type of packaging. To reuse waste tetra-paks without any processing such as for roofing tiles therefore reduces the carbon footprint. It is the hope that projects like this encourage the public to repurpose and recycle their household waste to create new and functional items.

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