As part of this year's London Festival of Architecture we created an urban oasis in our private studio courtyard. Although initially intended for temporary installation, we've decided to make it a permanent fixture.
Prompted by the growing interest and popularity of POPS (privately owned public spaces) the #MSMRPark aimed to challenge the 'boundaries' - LFA's 2019 festival theme - between public and private space. Exploring how an underutilised space might be transformed into a places for rest and retreat, we enlisted local charity Groundwork to plant up some pots and trugs with a mixture of trees, shrubs, herbs and bee-friendly flowers.
The gates were opened and botanical-inspired signs encouraged passers by to pop in. We had around 30 visitors across the four days, some stopping for a quick look around and others enjoying lunch or a coffee with a friend in the space.
Not unsurprisingly, the MSMR team also felt the benefits of the new greenery. Our feel-good factor may be thanks to biophilia, the human attraction to nature and the natural environment. This 'nature-time' has been found to improve productivity, reduce stress, improve cognitive function and enhance mood and creativity. It may be a small space but it now has big benefits and it's definitely worth the extra effort to keep it going.