London's Getting 7 New Public Spaces... By Building Onto The Thames

Laura Reynolds
By Laura Reynolds Last edited 68 months ago

Last Updated 06 September 2018

London's Getting 7 New Public Spaces... By Building Onto The Thames
Thames Tideway Tunnel King Edward Memorial Park
King Edward Memorial Park. Image: Tideway.

Designs for seven new public spaces, which are being built on the Thames, have been revealed.

They will be constructed as part of the Thames Tideway Tunnel, London's new 25km long 'super sewer', and look somewhat like jetties, jutting out into the river.

Thames Tideway Tunnel Chelsea Embankment
Chelsea Embankment. Image: Tideway

Although these mock-ups don't look particularly verdant, there appear to be ample benches, offering seven more spots for us to watch that dirty old river roll by.

Thames Tideway Tunnel Blackfriars Bridge
Blackfriars Bridge. Image: Tideway

The spaces are petite, but will be built out onto the river itself. They'll be located at Chelsea, Albert, Victoria and Putney Embankments, as well as at Blackfriars Bridge, King Edward Memorial Park (Shadwell) and Heathwall Pumping Station (Nine Elms).

Thames Tideway Tunnel Heathwall Pumping Station
Heathwall Pumping Station. Photo: Tideway

It's apt that they'll be built onto the river — Victoria, Albert and Chelsea Embankments were all brought into existence during the construction of Joseph Bazalgette's original sewers for London over 150 years ago, by building into the river.

Thames Tideway Tunnel Albert Embankment
Albert Embankment. Image: Tideway

At each location, works of art will be installed to depict the river's history and the role it's played in making London what it is today.

Thames Tideway Tunnel Putney Embankment
Putney Embankment. Image: Tideway

Three of the spaces — at Victoria and Chelsea Embankments and at King Edward Memorial Park — have been designed to be 'floodable' at high tides, meaning you'll be able to dip your toe in the river. We know this new sewer is meant to clean up the Thames, but that might be taking it a bit too far.

Thames Tideway Tunnel Victoria Embankment
Victoria Embankment. Image: Tideway

So when can we expect to see these spaces installed? Tunnelling for the new super sewer doesn't begin until later this year, going on until 2021, and the project should be completed by 2023... so don't go packing up a riverside picnic just yet.