High Line for London competition shortlist revealed


Bell Phillips Architects, Spacehub and Aecom | Green Arteries

A mushroom garden beneath Oxford Street, a floating farm in Canary Wharf and a reed-edged swimming lane in the Regent’s Canal are just some of the twenty designs shortlisted in a competition to find imaginative ideas for new green spaces in London.

Plans for greening office blocks, flyovers, the tops of buses and tram tracks have also made it through to the final stage of the competition, which has been organised by the Landscape Institute, the Mayor of London and the Garden Museum and was inspired by the success of the High Line in New York, an urban park created on a disused elevated railway line.

“The challenge was to come up with a public design project that went beyond the commonly accepted role of an urban park and engaged communities with the benefits of green infrastructure to improve the way we live in our cities. We didn’t know what we would get but having just completed the shortlisting we’re amazed at the response and quality of ideas. Some designs are aimed at being city-wide strategies and others are small and could be replicable throughout the capital,” Sue Illman, President of the Landscape Institute said.

Some of the smaller-scale ideas include creating miniature woodlands in neglected plots of land and providing gardening packs to community groups while at the larger end of the spectrum, one design envisions a Green North Bank riverside park running from Blackfriars to Lambeth Bridge.

Other concepts are inspired by lost or forgotten elements of London’s landscape including the River Fleet, one of the capital’s subterranean waterways, and an ancient route used to move livestock from pasture to market that runs between Hackney and Bishopsgate.

In total, the High Line for London Green Infrastructure Ideas Competition attracted more than 170 entries and the overall winner, chosen by an expert panel that includes the founders of the High Line, will be announced on Monday 8th October by Mayor of London Boris Johnson at the Garden Museum as part of the Landscape Institute’s Green Infrastructure Day. The winner will receive £2,500 and the runner-up £500 as prize money.

All 20 shortlisted designs are currently on display at the Garden Museum and can be viewed online here http://www.landscapeinstitute.org/events/competitions/highline.php

The designs include:

Fletcher Priest | Pop Down

Creates an urban mushroom garden lit by sculptural glass-fibre mushrooms at street level inside the ‘Mail Rail’ tunnels beneath Oxford Street.

Erika Richmond and Peggy Pei-Chi Chi | Barge Walk

Connects people with water via the creation of a linear park, farm and wetland on floating barges at the edge of Canary Wharf.

Terra Studio | High, Low, Fast and Fluid Lines

A commuter cycleway on raised railway viaducts, ‘air rail’ gardens by railway sidings, a new green Blackfriars Bridge and flower shows on the Thames.

[ Y/N ] Studio | The LidoLine

A channel in the Regent’s Canal makes it possible to swim the ‘Lido Line’ from Little Venice to Limehouse.


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