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.
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.
“Pick an apple on a walk, enjoy the birdsong and spot a native creature – all the things you’ll be able to do at Orchard Farm, whether a resident or visitor.” When talking with our Urban Designer, Honoré, you just close your eyes and feel, hear and see the green serenity of the site. Honoré honours nature and has been working on the plans for Orchard Farm with a vision.
“Hiding in the undergrowth at Orchard Farm is a wonderful mix of habitats and species that have made their home there over many years in the natural landscape.Our self-builders will be moving in with them, to live alongside them, giving a helping hand to survive, thrive, blossom and bloom.”
Together with Honoré, we’re working with EDLA, an architectural landscaping consultancy based in Canterbury – who share our vision to build a landscape-led community which respects and nurtures the existing natural environment on the site. “As soon as we met, we knew we had the same ideas", explains Honoré. "Our drafted landscape-led urban plan, designed by Steenvlinder, the Dutch side of the Orchard Farm partnership, was shared with them for further development.”
Donald Roberts, a co-director at EDLA, said: “Orchard Farm’s brave and inspired new way to deliver housing, with a full landscape-led approach and respect for biodiversity to create an exciting, sustainable community is in complete collaboration with our philosophy.
“Working together, with a shared vision we are creating a fabulous space that benefits both people and nature.
To ensure the ecology is preserved and the site works with and around nature, providing a lot of green space to be enjoyed by residents, visitors and passers-by, Donald visited The Netherlands to see how Steenvlinder, and the Dutch in general, has previously weaved together nature and design for everyone’s benefit and enjoyment.
Donald added: “We came away with a full understanding and were impressed with the value placed on the landscape and how integral it was to the vision of the sense of place.”
Living with Nature
Homes for All
Share and Connect
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.
On Monday 22nd of May, Adam Roake, was interviewed by Martin Paul White and Charley Gremo Gilham Kent Biz Connect Radio. Adam highlighted that people will have a great deal of choice in what they build and be able to direct the build themselves. There was lots of discussion and interest in how green the site will be.