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Proposal for a new Thames Bridge by Heatherwick Studio.

Images: Heatherwick Studio.

London needs a bridge across the river Thames, between Blackfriars and Waterloo. One has been on the cards for years! It has been the subject of an invited competition, won by Zaha Hadid, a book, and an exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts.

I actually worked on one of the unsuccessful entries as a young architect. Back then, the bridge had to be “habitable”. Most of the six competition entries included verdure of some kind, except for Future Systems' entry that shocked us all by proposing an abstract yellow dinosaur! I might be wrong about the colour, it was a long time ago.

This week, a new bridge for the same site was proposed by Heatherwick Studio.

Keeping with the verdure theme, Heatherwick Studio's bridge proposes a garden walkway across the river. It would be a welcome addition to the landscape, not least for the thousands of office workers in that area who would benefit from a quite place to eat their lunch.

From the outside, the bridge resembles a scaled-up laser-cut model in that it appears to have ribs, characteristic of creating 3D forms from flat-cut shapes.

To build the bridge it will need an Act of Parliament, so perhaps it is the politicians who will say what goes. We wish Heatherwick well.

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DETAIL 7+8/2019
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