Lambeth council is due on Tuesday next week to give the green light to the project, designed by Manser Medal-winning architect Carl Turner.
It will be created on the site of a former multi-storey car park in Brixton Station Road, from 39 decommissioned shipping containers stacked on top of each other to form an industrial version of a traditional London garden square. In a central open space, vegetables will be grown in a polytunnel that will also serve as a café.
There will also be space on the site for concerts, other live events and exhibitions, and there are plans for outdoor cinema screenings and artist workshops.
Mr Turner, who is working with the Edible Bus Stop and Canteen groups, says he will use shipping containers because they are cheap and versatile. They will be fitted out by teams of local apprentices, allowing young people to gain valuable work experience.
Canteen will run the café serving food grown in the polytunnel, and will also employ apprentices to work on the project, which is named Grow:Brixton.
Lambeth council officers support the idea, saying it will be a “positive addition to the rich diversity” of Brixton. In the long term, however, the council plans to sell the site for redevelopment.
The idea of using shipping containers as temporary accommodation is becoming increasingly popular. Units for the homeless, built out of shipping containers, opened in Brighton this year.