Hackney City Farm

Extension to the farm shop at Hackney City Farm completed in September 2013.

Sill to sill's design took inspiration from the farms ethos of recycle and engagement of the local community. Built using donated sash windows and scaffolding boards sourced from the local area. The design of the structure allowed unskilled volunteers to be involved in every step of the construction whilst also working with a limited budget. The insertion of the sash windows into the wall structure not only creates shop display space but also provides inspiration on the possibilities of what can be grown on visitors own sills.


Sill to sill was designed by Benedetta Rogers, Lucy Paton, Sigrid Bylander and Julian Bond. More information can found on the project blog.

  • Hackney City Farm

The cladding, made from painted then planed scaffolding board, is also the horizontal structure of the building. This technique allowed the design to as simple as possible. As the shop is to become a vegetable and plant shop there was very little need to provide insulated space, this leaves the structure exposed and permeable. 

  • Hackney City Farm
  • Hackney City Farm

The arrangement of the windows provides an range of uses. The largest and lowest is a bench, another lower window is positioned to allow children to have their own window to look through and a window has been positioned and made removable so it can be used as a shop counter.

  • Hackney City Farm

The inside of the shop has been designed to allow a variety of produce to be displayed. The watering bench is feed by a water-but connected to the roof. Shelving was created using scaffolding boards supported by old car seat belts.

  • Hackney City Farm
  • Hackney City Farm
  • Hackney City Farm
  • Hackney City Farm

Part of the brief was to incorporate a veg box collection scheme into the structure (seen on the right of this image). Located in a part of the building where an existing wall created a restrictive space the boxes also allowed this space to become a valuable part of the project. The boxes have been smoothly integrated by cladding the doors with thin sections of scaffolding board.

  • Hackney City Farm
  • Hackney City Farm

"The Sill to Sill building on the farm has found an attractive way of combining the farm's sometimes chaotic aesthetic with an ethos of reuse and resourcefullnes. As the donkey rides out on its regular forays into east london, it seems both right at home and accentuated by the new building. The space itself will give us the opportunity to increase the range of products in the shop and thereby the potential to generate funds that help keep the farm open and projects running. Should we need it, it can also double as a meeting space, classroom and it has even been suggested - and ice cream stall in summer." Gustavo Montes de Oca, Project Co-ordinator at Hackney City Farm

  • Hackney City Farm
  • Hackney City Farm

Volunteers that helped to build the new shop extension:

Robert Hindle, Anthony Staples, Seainin Passi, David Hood, Ricarda Wolf, Sara Mellone, Luke Jones, Anna Mill, Geraldine Holland, Madiha Ahmad, Garbiel Warshafsky, Tom Borsay, Joe Brimson, Johanna Ibbotson, Lilli Hoikka, Amanda Rashid, Tierney Lovell, Mina Gospavic, Nadia Wikborg, Georgina Walker, Wai Ching, Kamil Konca, Steve Goodey, James, Miguel, Chris Watkins, Jane Lambert, Dave Coleman, Hackney Laces, ArtsAdmin Make Space project, and corporate volunteers from UBS, RBS, Bank of England.

A number of companies also provided sponsorship for the project a full list can be found here