Green links competition shortlist for London’s Vauxhall announced

by Rhiannon James

credit: Erect architecture with J&L Gibbons, London

A lido in the Thames, floating gardens, hot air balloons, tree towers and a sculpture footbridge were just some of the ideas submitted to an international competition to design green links for the south bank of the Thames.

Three finalists have been announced and awarded £2,000 each to draw up detailed action plans for greening the area between Vauxhall Park and Lambeth Palace and beyond. The overall winner will be revealed at the end of this month.

One shortlisted design, by architects Cédric Chausse and Charlotte Portier, includes regenerative projects for the railway arches in the area with “windows” towards the Thames as well as pontoons along the River. A second finalist, Russia-based Blank Architects, plans a series of linked open arenas and pocket gardens with year-round seasonal events inspired by the planting – including balloon flights. The third design comes from London-based erect architecture with J&L Gibbons.

Overall, the Vauxhall -The Missing Link design competition, run by RIBA Competitions for the Vauxhall One Business Improvement District, attracted world-wide interest, with 100 entries from 21 countries. A student winner – a team from the University of Texas – was also selected and awarded £500 and an opportunity to continue involvement in the project.

Doreen Lawrence of the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust who was one of the judges said,” It is an honour to be asked to be a panel member for the competition to develop the Vauxhall area. I am looking forward to seeing what the competition will deliver to an area that has been crying out for something special for so long.”

Given the area’s link with the celebrated Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens of the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Chris Law, Public Realm and Development Director at Vauxhall One, said he hoped that the project would “create sustainable green links that connect the parks and open spaces to each other and the River Thames. We want to connect the New American Embassy to London’s South Bank with new green and cultural trails, which tell the story of the area’s rich and colourful past.”

All designs can be viewed at

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