Plans for an interesting new bridge on the Thames, linking the Victoria Embankment and the South Bank, have been revealed.
Designed by Thomas Heatherwick (the chap behind the Olympic cauldron, and this excellent bridge in Paddington), the new £60 million crossing features a garden, in what looks like a nod to New York’s High Line. Only better.
The new bridge would sit between Waterloo and Blackfriars bridges, hopefully revitalising the Temple area to the north, and opening up walkways to Covent Garden and Soho. It’ll be more complex than the Thames’ current newest pedestrian crossing, the Arup-designed Millennium bridge: the garden bridge will widen and narrow along its span, and contain a park with grasses, trees and wild flowers from around Britain.
Heatherwick won a Transport for London tender for ideas to improve pedestrian access across the river. The designer is now working with Arup to develop the idea, with the aim of having final designs ready for publication in mid July, and submitting them for planning permission in the spring. If all goes well, the bridge could be a reality in 2016.
But the plans are dependent on Heatherwick raising cash from private sponsors. As with the ArcelorMittal Orbit and the Emirates Air Line, the GLA isn’t investing public money, instead hoping to fund the scheme with a high profile sponsor. Engineering website nce.co.uk suggests Apple might be interested.
It’s not the first green river scheme to receive backing from the Mayor: in 2012 a floating river park was indefinitely postponed as it was feared it could alter the Thames’ flow and damage other bridges.
Are you a fan of Mr Heatherwick? Here’s our guide to other pieces of his work around London.