Claypit Canal Works Food Exchange
The Claypit Canal Work Food Exchange is located on the steep slopes adjacent to the Forth and Clyde Canal on Hamiltonhill. Its neighbour to the West is the new switchback ramp and small play area constructed to provide increased accessibility to the canal and the Claypit Nature Reserve which is situated to the North of the Canal opposite the site of the Claypit Canal Works.
The aims of the Claypit Canal Works Food Exchange are to enhance the lives of the local residents through food, community and learning. The CanalWorks is a proposal for a future sustainable urban food supply – which moves away from the current pre-packaged convenience model of food and instead returns to the values of community growing, cooking and healthy eating.
The project is called The Claypit Canal Works Food Exchange – the name that combines the canal’s past industrial identity with the a focus on fresh, locally sourced sustainable food. The wider aims of the project are those of placemaking in a relatively vulnerable community. The Architecture is one of democratised space, inclusion, playfulness and diversity. It conveys a place of safety in proximity to the canal and encourages the public to re-connect with and take ownership of the forgotten lands around the canal. The Post-Industrial story of the canals is one of abandonment. This building is among others projects in the area seeking to reframe the post-industrial canal identity. The Hamilton Claypits Nature Reserve and the Garscube Road ramp have already made a huge impact on the area and everytime I visited (once a week all term) there were people fishing, running along the banks or on the slide. This underlines the communities appreciation of and spiritual need for quality public space. The Building looks to enhance the conversation between the Canal and the new public realm created by the Ramp by becoming a sort of link in itself – perched between both worlds and acting as a conduit. The spaces in the building provide connections and public space to enhance positive self and community and development.
Like the Canal – the post-industrial story of food has also become one of abandonment and sterilisation. Pre-packaged meals and Supermarket monopolies have killed community markets and spaces. The project seeks to reclaim the Human – Food relationship – creating a space that celebrates human-centred process and production. The Claypit Canal Works Food Exchange is a space that promotes community, learning, and healthy eating, enhancing the lives of local residents and contributing to the revitalization of the post-industrial canal identity.