Hate The Garden Bridge? Design Your Own Folly For London

Rachel Holdsworth
By Rachel Holdsworth Last edited 35 months ago
Hate The Garden Bridge? Design Your Own Folly For London

Plans for the Garden Bridge. Image by ARUP.

The Garden Bridge. Don't you just love it? No? You're not alone. This bridge-that-isn't-really-a-bridge and garden-that-isn't-really-a-garden is taking around £60m of public funds, plus a commitment to underwrite its £3m a year maintenance costs if the Garden Bridge Trust can't raise the money. Then there's the cutting down of trees on the South Bank, fears of overcrowding, queues, closures...

The Garden Bridge has been branded a folly. In response, a satirical competition has been launched to design A Folly for London, that would sit (in theory) on the South Bank space that the Garden Bridge will take over. It's free to enter, is open to everyone — adults and children, pros and amateurs alike — but designs must be absurd, illogical, egotistic and obtrusive. Much like the Garden Bridge itself.

This isn't just a laugh, however. The Folly for London website will host discussions about politics, finance and architecture and the way the bridge will impact the city. As the people behind it say themselves:

While we will invite crazy, ridiculous and satirically nonsensical projects and ask people to explore their own creativity and ideas, this project aims to raise awareness of the genuine absurdity of the Garden Bridge alongside aesthetic threats to the city, financial repercussions and flaws in the democratic process.

Closing dates and details of prizes are yet to be finalised, but we do know that architecture writer Owen Hatherley will be among the judges. So set your irony meter to 'preposterous' and let your creativity flow.

Last Updated 11 June 2015

Pizza snob

Apologies if this is too absurd or illogical, but how about a tube stop with a line going to South East London? Sorry if that's too mental.


How about some places for people to live in. I think they call them houses or homes. Maybe they could have gardens. Mad, I know. Could we add the idea of yet another concert hall for London to the list of mad follies?

Francis Toye

How about some more investment in South Bank, already one of the top tourist destinations in the world, to bring more money and jobs into London? Local South Bank worker

michael ball

We need a project which will lift land values on the South Bank and Embankment by at least 5% or £84m, which is what TfL notes favourably in its Business Case the Garden Bridge will achieve. How about underwater affordable housing and crematorium - forget Right to Buy, try Right to Die