A dedicated website has been set up, showcasing entries to the High Line for London Competition.
Called New London Landscape, it allows visitors to explore the 100 previously unseen design ideas, post comments about individual designs and strike up conversations with the designers. ‘We want to start a conversation about London – these designs may never be built, but our aim is to change the way Londoners look at and think about their city,’ said Sue Illman, president of the Landscape Institute. ‘Sometimes dreaming about what’s possible can help us focus on what is possible. All kinds of amazing ideas are possible and this competition shifts the debate away from things which are mundane and easy to deliver. It challenges us to think creatively and imagine our city in a much more exciting way.’
‘A High Line for London: Green Infrastructure ideas competition for a new London landscape’ was launched in July 2012 by the Landscape Institute in partnership with the Mayor of London and Garden Museum. The competition, which was inspired by the New York High Line, attracted over 100 green infrastructure ideas from around the world. The brief was to create a public design project that went beyond the commonly accepted role of urban parks and engaged communities with the benefits of green infrastructure. As an open ideas competition entrants were unconstrained by any current planning restrictions.
‘Pop Down’ by Fletcher Priest Architects won the competition with an idea to create an underground mushroom garden experience beneath Oxford Street. The runner-up was ‘The Lido Line by [Y/N] Studio with an idea to insert a clean, safe ‘basin’ in the Regent’s Canal in which to swim the ‘Lido Line’ from Little Venice to Limehouse.
The judges were so impressed by the standard of entries that they also selected three highly commended designs. Bridge-It by HTA: an idea to unlock inaccessible transport corridors around the existing transport network – green linear parks built over, under and beside railway lines and a series of cycling and walking networks linking transport hubs. Barge Walk by Erika Richmond and Peggy Pei-Chi Chi: a design to re-connect people with water via the creation of a linear park, farm and wetland on floating barges at the edge of Canary Wharf. And Bus Roots by Wynne James: an idea to make use of the many empty roof spaces of bus shelters to create raised gardens with sparrow colonies, insect hotels and miniature wildflower meadows. Each bus shelter garden would be looked after by its local community, school or street.