- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 23 Oct 2016
Garden Bridge - alternate design
The Garden Bridge project, providing a new pedestrianised bridge across the River Thames, has come in for much criticism due to its procurement process, purpose and escalating costs. In July 2016, the architect Crispin Wride revealed his alternative concept to Thomas Heatherwick’s design.
Wride, of Crispin Wride Architects Design Studio Ltd. (CWADS), has proposed a garden crossing that would use the existing piers that stand redundant between Blackfriars Road Bridge and the Station Bridge.
Each island deck would occupy one of the pairs of existing piers, linked to its neighbours as a form of artificial ‘archipelago’, and connected back to the road bridge at the piers, thereby enhancing access and flexibility of use.
Wride has designed the independent decks as prefabricated leaf-shaped gardens, approximately 45 m x 30 m. These would be propped and cantilevered from the piers with lightweight bridges simply supported between them. By raising the ‘leaves’ above the road level they would allow views west along the river, and ‘visual interaction with the station platforms to the east’. The western half of each deck would form a landscaped prow with access rising through the deck.
As the road bridge rises and falls along its length, the connection might vary at each deck, and some might have lower decks slung within the ribs of the structure beneath. The eastern end of the decks could be occupied by small pavilions with the potential for accommodating facilities such as galleries, cafes or hired spaces for corporate events.
Wride claims the cost of reusing the existing piers would be less than that of the entirely new crossing. The offsite prefabrication of the components could allow for a quick and economic construction process.
Rather than providing a straight route, the architect said that it could create ‘a dynamic new experience of crossing the river...enhancing the existing awkward space left between the road and rail bridges...and adding four new spectacular public spaces for London, poised above the River Thames’.
For more information, see Crispin Wride.
 Find out more
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
Featured articles and news
The London Build Expo is hosting a Diversity in Construction panel and networking session on October 24.
Analysis can help develop a specification, but must not lead to inappropriate specifications being accepted.
Dos and don'ts for creating a smart home.
New ICE publication recommends pay-as-you-go tax to fund roads and other financing options.
BSRIA launches a White Paper on wearable technology and wellbeing in buildings.
Have the pressures of the market shredded the core values of professionalism?
Lead times are a measure of the amount of time that elapses between initiating and completing a construction process.
Government releases first tranche of funding for removal of unsafe high-rise cladding.
How to ensure UK transport infrastructure copes with severe winter weather.