Wandsworth Food Bus
client: Feeding Britain, project partners: Be Enriched + Wandsworth Food Partnership, budget: £100K, fit-out: Building BloQs and TJ Electrical, funding: Mayor of London, DWS, Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, Sarah Dent, Wandsworth Council, L&Q and Mercers’ Charitable Foundation
A converted double decker bus is bringing affordable, fresh food to chronically underserved areas in Wandsworth and Lambeth. The Food Bus contains an on-board shop and café, aiming to improve residents’ access to healthy food. The project aims to ease some of the pressure on household budgets at a time when many of the very poorest in society are experiencing additional challenges associated with the pandemic. A regular shopping basket of goods is available to buy at a fraction of its usual cost, with much of the food being sourced responsibly from retailers’ surplus stocks.
Jan Kattein Architects’ design for the bus succeeded in securing grant funding from the Mayor of London, DWS, Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, Sarah Dent, Wandsworth Council, L&Q, and Mercers’ Charitable Foundation. We worked closely with charities Be Enriched, Feeding Britain, and the Wandsworth Food Partnership and fabricator Building BloQs to implement the conversion of the vehicle.
The bus has running hot and cold water, a fully functioning kitchen, food storage and display cabinets, air source heating and cooling and solar powered refrigeration, lighting and 5G internet. The upper deck was converted into a comfortable lounge with tables and seating for residents to access additional support services and training events. Additional outside seating and a warm and welcoming environment with carefully controlled lighting was designed to create a sequence of welcoming internal and external spaces.
The Food Bus is a blueprint for a new and innovative way of bringing help right to the doorstep of some of the most vulnerable individuals and families. We hope that the project will transform the experience of accessing support into a civic event with positive and convivial overtones.