Although it carries no promise of funding, the recent competition to design a local equivalent to New York’s High Line has certainly got people talking. More details have now been released for the runner-up in that contest: the Lido Line by Y/N Studios.
The firm would like to see parts of the Regent’s Canal roped off for swimmers and aquatic events. And by ‘roped off’, we’re talking a full-depth barrier between the two sections, to hold in treated water for the swim lane.
The graphics show how the concept could be used to create commuter swim lanes along the canal, a skating lane for the winter, and larger swimming pools in areas like City Road Basin.
The scheme is not without significant question marks, though. Chief among them, how much would it cost to pump, filter and chlorinate such a high volume of water?
It’s also worth saying that the competition is intended merely as a way to get Londoners thinking creatively about their environment, and not as a serious design contest for implementable plans. The Lido Line is very unlikely to ever be built, and the concept images are just that — not detailed, thought-through plans.
Meanwhile, the winning competition entry proposes a subterranean mushroom garden created inside the disused Mail Rail tunnels beneath Fitzrovia and Marylebone. All shortlisted entries are on show at the Garden Museum until 21 October. Entries can also be viewed online.
All images copyright Y/N.