I’ve just heard that Lambeth Council has approved an application for the Garden Bridge – and I’m thrilled. I first heard of this project at the start of the year and I’ve been meaning to blog about it for months, so this is an ideal opportunity to mention it.
The original idea came from the actress Joanna Lumley, as a memorial to Diana, Princess of Wales. The ‘slowest way to cross the river’, the bridge would be wide and rambling, somewhere to get lost in, look at London from unusual angles, and help to breathe green life into the centre of the city. Thomas Heatherwick, who designed the huge cauldron used in the opening scene of the London Olympics, has designed it, and it’s amazing. The supporting piers are like tree roots emerging from the river and the computer generated model looks a little bit like Jurassic Park in the middle of the city.
As the bridge will have ends on both banks of the river, permission has still to be granted by Westminster Council, and it’s hoped this will be given next month. Building the bridge is, of course, only the first stage – it will then need to be filled with plants. Landscape designer Dan Pearson has brought a naturalistic approach, emphasising wildness rather than manicured nature. Many plants will be local to the area and the planting scheme will reflect the horticultural development of London. And there will be lots of trees – on a bridge – across the Thames! I can only repeat – amazing.
The Italian architect Palladio, five hundred years ago, remarked, ‘A bridge should be part of the way, the way extended over water. Convenient, beautiful, and able to withstand the years.” I expect the Garden Bridge to be all three, and I can’t wait to see it brought to fruition.
There’s more about the bridge, and a link to the plans, here – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-30015011
The Garden Bridge Trust has a website here – http://www.gardenbridgetrust.org