We’re all feeling extremely proud that our team behind our landscape design for Orchard Farm has won the 2023 World Landscape Architecture Awards, in the category of ‘Commercial Residential’. Much work and passion has gone into the landscape design by all parties involved: Orchard Farm, with Honoré van Rijswijk in its team from Collective Urban Strategies, and EDLA, our landscaping design partners based in Cantebury.
This prestigious international award attracts the most innovative and creative design firms from around the world, making this nomination earlier this month already an incredible honour. We’re proud to be recognised among the top entries, especially since the jurors reviewed over 250 submissions in nine categories.
Orchard Farm, Ashford
Orchard Farm is a self-build site located in Kennington, on the northern edge of Ashford. We are planning to create the first authentic self-built community in Kent by enabling people to build their own home on a serviced plot. The site will have different sized plots to invite as many types of households to build a house that matches their budget and specifications.
Detailed planning permission for the first twenty-five plots will be agreed upon with the Council. Our self-builder will be issued a plot passport: the fixed price, plot outlines and process will be published, including the building and some design regulations and requirements. We expect to be offering these plots for sale in the autumn of 2023. It is planned that around one hundred and twenty unique homes will eventually be located here. The landscape will be carefully designed across the site and will create active and green communities across lanes, courtyards, a central orchard and meadows on the edges of the scheme.
The Orchard Farm site is a local hidden gem, shaped by its secluded landscape qualities formed by a gentle fall of the land, capturing spectacular views, mature trees and hedges and a tree-lined track. The design of the Orchard Farm site has a landscape first approach and will be much greener than other new built developments. It has been inspired by four themes; Living with Nature, Share and Connect, Active Landscape and Homes for All.
By carefully carving out spaces for nature, the existing biodiversity will be retained and enhanced and will provide opportunities for local wildlife habitats to be increased.
The planting will be influenced by the history of the site and locally grown produce. As well as micro allotments, an orchard of native fruit trees will be created with seating and tables for the enjoyment of all the community. This orchard park will also encourage wildlife, as will native, edible hedging, and bat and bird boxes placed in mature trees within the site boundary.
A network of courtyards linked by lanes will provide green, social spaces that are interconnected and genuinely child and pedestrian friendly. They will encourage people to use the spaces and connect with one another.
The public spaces will be multi-functional to allow for social interaction and play.
The site will connect the proposed lanes with the existing local network of roads and proposed walking and cycle routes, whilst bike stations will support cyclists and encourage sustainable travel.
Orchard Farm will be a place built by and for people who want to stay there and be part of the community. It is envisaged that a wide variety of housing types, sizes and mixed types of ownership will create an inclusive community.
Orchard Farm isn’t just about building new homes – it’s about creating homes that work for people and building communities with people, landscape and nature.