UFEx Applecross connects local growing spaces for vegetables into a Community Hub, where the vegetables are produced, celebrated and exchanged in a cultural centre. The UFEx offers agricultural and horticultural learning opportunities and teaches people how to cultivate the produce from seed all the way into delicious and healthy meals. The scheme includes a canal boat converted into a floating bar, which transports people along the canal. This acts as a vessel for community and cultural growth by serving healthy food alongside beverages produced in the Hub. The bar boat together with a café and a market space transforms the site into centre for social activities, bringing the canal to life.
The design is hugely driven by a survey conducted by our research group of three students. The 73 responses we gathered suggested that greenery should be preserved, and the landscape of the site is important and could be improved. Therefore, the building is designed to be a part of the landscape itself, thus celebrating biodiversity and nature over built environment. The paths twisting around the building encompassing the green roofs create a small public park that encourages active social events, and communicates the environmental approach taken for the project.