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Thomas Heatherwick Plans First UK Garden Bridge

  • Heatherwick Garden Bridge

Thomas Heatherwick, founder of London based design practice Heatherwick Studio, revealed an ambitious proposal for a £150 million garden bridge. The bridge, designed as a 1000 tonnes garden suspended over the River Thames, would be the first of its kind in the UK. Placed between Temple and the Southbank, the exclusively pedestrian crossing would serve as a direct link between the South Bank and Covent Garden and Soho.

Latest plans by Heatherwick, in conjunction with engineering company Arup, show a 367 metre (1,200ft) bridge supported by two columns in the Thames, acting as a seamless continuation of the visible gardens on both sides of the river. According to the Garden Bridge Trust, overseeing its creation, the pedestrial bridge is set to form a major new green space for the capital.

Designer and horticulturalist Dan Pearson, who is working on the creation of the garden bridge landscape, said he looks to create ‘magic in every footfall’ with a ‘naturalistic space you can get lost in’, using shrubs, trees, plants and benches. Latest plans by Heatherwick, in conjunction with engineering company Arup, show the bridge as supported by two columns in the Thames, acting as a seamless continuation of the visible gardens on both sides of the river.

The initial announcement estimated the project at a cost of £60 million, while most recent plans have put the figure at £150 million. The Garden Bridge trust says that the project ‘has already won considerable interest from private donors’, and indeed the total cost of the ambitious project will need to be met by private sponsors.

According to the trust’s chairman Lord Mervyn Davies, public fundraising will start in 2014. However, almost half the money has already been offered by private donors. The Mayor and councils of London strongly support the plans, and Chancellor George Osborne has pledged that the bridge will happen. The public consultation on the garden bridge will run until 20 December 2013, with the bridge itself expected to be completed in 2017.

PHOTOGALLERY:Thomas Heatherwick Garden Bridge Designs Photo Gallery

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