6th January, 2022
A peace garden designed for victims of knife crime has been unveiled at the Walworth Methodist Church in Southwark, London.
Students from BA (Hons) Interior Design Environment Architectures and BA (Hons) Architecture were challenged by the Southwark community to design and build a garden for people affected by knife crime to reflect, and to escape day-to-day societal problems earlier this year, with a winning concept chosen in June.
‘Our Garden’, a concept designed by Joshua Welch, Malachy Safsaf and Qudus Patrick was awarded first place for their design which incorporated three distinct areas, themed around ‘reflection’, ‘relief’ and ‘resolution’. The group sought to create intimate seating pockets to encourage interaction, aiming to make their design “as simple as possible, but also as impactful as possible”.
They worked together with local community members including the Walworth Methodist Church, The Royal College of Physicians, Kew Gardens and Southwark Construction Skills Centre to refine their designs and source appropriate plants for the garden, before the finished concept was installed over the summer.
They were awarded cash prizes, and had their design unveiled on Friday 21 September, which is known as World Peace Day. The launch event featured representatives from the Metropolitan Police and Kew Gardens as well as actress and World Peace Day Ambassador, Juliet Rylance.
Commenting, Joshua, Malachy and Qudus said:
“Watching our design come to fruition has been an amazing experience. It has provided us an opportunity to grow, not only as designers, but as people. The community surrounding this project have been the driving factor as to why the garden stands as it does. We are extremely grateful to the Southwark community for their help in building our vision, providing a platform to look to the future.”
Reverend Paul Weary, Circuit Minister, Walworth Methodist Church added:
“It has been a joy working with the students from Ravensbourne. We have been impressed with the commitment and energy they brought to the project. This included attending the church on a Sunday morning to explain the design to the congregation and in the week before the launch, helping to plant the garden and get it ready for the opening day. Without their vision and enthusiasm, the Southwark Peace Garden would not have come to fruition.”
The garden is open to public throughout the week: Walworth Methodist Church, 54 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, London SE5 0EW.