Following Transport for London’s (TfL) tender for proposals to improve pedestrian links across the river, Heatherwick Studio and actor and campaigner Joanna Lumley have developed an idea for a new pedestrian ‘Garden Bridge’ across the River Thames; a scheme to connect North and South London with a garden. As one of the greenest cities of its size in the world, this precious new piece of landscape will add to London’s rich and diverse horticultural heritage of heathlands, parks, squares, allotments and community gardens and support many indigenous river edge plant species.
The revival of the South Bank over the past two decades has created a vibrant and artistic district attracting large number of visitors to its art galleries, theatres, music halls, restaurants and outdoor entertainment. However, visits to Temple and the north bank area east of Somerset House and Waterloo Bridge are far less frequent. The bridge will grow and nourish the connection between these distinct areas whilst providing new walking routes to and from Covent Garden and Soho.
With a structure that widens and narrows across its span, the elevated garden will not only be a safe and easy way for London’s many commuters and visitors to cross the river, it will also make places along its length for pedestrians to stop and better enjoy the remarkable river setting and unparalleled views of the city. The addition of careful planting with variety in scale, openness and intimacy will create a new kind of public space in the city.
Heatherwick Studio is currently working closely with Transport for London and world-renowned engineering consultant Arup to develop the scheme.
On November 1st 2013 The Garden Bridge Trust, a UK registered charity dedicated to driving forward the creation of the Bridge, was launched with Lord Mervyn Davies as its chairman. A public consultation led by The Garden Bridge Trust and supported by TfL closed on December 20th 2013. Over eighty seven per cent of consultation respondents were supportive of the scheme.
A planning application was submitted to Westminster City Council and the London Borough of Lambeth in May 2014.