Public consultation on plans to build Britain’s first Garden Bridge
The process into the Studio Heatherwick, Arup and “Avenger” Joanna Lumley’s project runs until 20th December
After winning a TfL (Transport for London) tender for proposals to improve pedestrain links across the city, the Thomas Heatherwick designed Garden Bridge is currently undergoing a process of public consultation, which will end on 20th December. This process will address issues like landscaping, materials used and operation, which are key to the project, prior to its submission for planning approval in the first half of next year.
The bridge is expected to cost £150 m to design and build. In view of this, a company has been set up called The garden bridge trust, which will begin raising funds for the project as soon as it obtains its status of Charitable Organisation.
The bridge, designed by Heatherwick Studio and ARUP and inspired by the actress and human and animal rights activist Joanna Lumley, whose most famous role was probably « Purdey » in the New Avengers, will provide both a new walkway and a new landmark for the city. Somewhat appropriately the bridge will link two of the capital’s theatre districts the West End and the South Bank also creating a new green space for the City which is already the “Greenest” in Europe with over 40% of its surface area covered with publically accessible green space.
It is estimated that construction of the Bridge would begin in 2015, with its completion scheduled for the end of 2017.
The Garden Bridge, which was designed in conjunction with Arup, marks a significant departure from Arup’s last London pedestrian bridge. The Millennium Bridge, designed by Norman Foster, was completed in 2000. This innovative and complex structure was designed to achieve a simple form, with a 4m wide aluminium deck flanked by stainless steel balustrades and supported by cables to each side, which dip below the deck at midspan enabling unimpeded views of London.
The landscape will be designed by leading UK designer and horticulturalist, Dan Pearson and the bridge will feature an abundance of plants, trees and shrubs indigenous to the UK and London that will change with the seasons.
What it has in common with the Millennium Bridge is that it will allow visitors to take in the views of some of London’s most famous landmarks, including St Paul’s Cathedral, the Shard and the Gherkin, but unlike it the same visitors will be able to enjoy the views sitting and relaxing amongst the garden’s woodlands.