High Line for London competition won by underground mushroom garden


A scheme for an urban fungi farm in the disused tunnels below Oxford Street has won the High Line for London competition which was set up to find imaginative ideas for new green spaces in London.

The Pop Down design, by Fletcher Priest Architects, proposes turning part of the ‘Mail Rail’ tunnels, originally used to move letters and parcels around the city, over to the cultivation of mushrooms which would be served up at a fungi-focused restaurant based in the former sorting office on New Oxford Street.

“We are actively looking at the next steps for the proposal, and who our natural partners in this process may be. It is a very exciting opportunity to explore the possibility of opening up spectacular hidden spaces,” said Fletcher Priest Architects.

The Lido Line by [Y/N] Studio, a proposal for a swimming lane in the Regent’s Canal, which could transform into a skating route in the winter, was runner-up in the competition organised by the Landscape Institute, the Mayor of London and the Garden Museum.

Three ideas were highly commended: Barge Walk, a design by Erika Richmond and Peggy Pei-Chi Chi for a floating farm and park in Canary Wharf; Bus Roots by Wynne James, a scheme to create wildlife-friendly gardens on bus shelter roofs and Bridge-It, a plan by HTA for greening transport corridors.

The winners were announced by Joshua David and Robert Hammond, co-founders of New York’s High Line park and two of the competition’s judges, at the Garden Museum yesterday. Also on the judging panel was Dr Penelope Curtis, Director of Tate Britain. She said: “The response to this competition shows how many ideas are just waiting to happen, on, over or under the streets of London.”

In total, the High Line for London Green Infrastructure Ideas Competition attracted more than 170 entries and twenty made it through to the shortlist. 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


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