Trust is formed to make Garden Bridge a reality

Trust is formed to make Garden Bridge a reality

The Garden Bridge Trust, chaired by Lord Mervyn Davies, a former banker and former government minister, aims to raise the money fast enough for construction to start in 2015.

The bridge, which is the brainchild of actress and campaigner Joanna Lumley and designer Thomas Heatherwick, will link the Southbank Centre with Temple Underground, landing on the roof of the station.

Intended to be purely pedestrian, the bridge will, said Heatherwick, ‘be a garden first. You can’t just put a few flowerpots on it. I want it to have a spirit of gardens, with soil and worms and mouldy leaves.’

The two piers sited in the river will support the greatest weight of soil, so the depth of planting will vary along the length of the bridge, which will have paired curving paths so that the view ahead will be of garden. Garden designer Dan Pearson, who is designing the garden, is creating five distinct zones. Going from south to north, these are a pioneer zone, with alders and birch and small flowers, a wild glade, a scarp environment in the centre where the views will be most dramatic, a cultivated glade and a leafy zone. 

There will be support areas near the bridge where volunteers can work and plants be brought on. Pearson expects that there will be constant maintenance activity on the bridge. ‘One of the things about the High Line,’ he said, ‘is that there is always somebody working on it who may be asked questions.’ 

Arup is responsible for the hard landscape and the landscape coordination, as well as working as the structural engineer on the bridge.

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