Thomas Heatherwick, Designer of the London 2012 Olympic Cauldron has revealed his design for a vegetated bridge across the Thames River in London. Heatherwick said that “The idea is simple; to connect north and south London with a garden. We have been working with actor and campaigner Joanna Lumley, who has been a proponent of such an idea for several years.”
Thomas Heatherwick and consultant Arup won a competitive tender run by the mayor’s Transport for London (TfL) department (NCE). The bridge is to be built between Waterloo and Blackfriars bridges. “With its rich heritage of allotments, gardens, heathland, parks and squares, London is one of the greenest cities in the world. In this context we are excited to have been selected by TFL to explore the opportunity of a pedestrian river crossing.” Heatherwick said.
Comparisons have been drawn to the Highline in New York, which is currently in Stage 3 of construction. The High Line took a disued freight rail line and turned it into a long elevated nature walk and park in the city. Although this is a new bridge crossing the bridge some concerns have been raised on blogs that the challenge will be creating a stable bridge with a dual cantilever bridge.
Joanna Lumley, actor and campaigner said “… the Garden Bridge is already vivid in the plans and the imagination. This garden will be sensational in every way: a place with no noise or traffic where the only sounds will be birdsong and bees buzzing and the wind in the trees, and below the steady rush of water. It will be the slowest way to cross the river, as people will dawdle and lean on parapets and stare at the great cityscapes all around; but it will also be a safe and swift way for the weary commuter to make his way back over the Thames. There will be grasses, trees, wild flowers, and plants, unique to London’s natural riverside habitat. And there will be blossom in the spring and even a Christmas tree in mid-winter. I believe it will bring to Londoners and visitors alike peace and beauty and magic.”
IMAGE CREDIT | Heatherwick Studio