January 17, 2018
Wandsworth Council has teamed up with the London Festival of Architecture (LFA) to launch a competition to improve an important community gateway.
The aim is to improve the appearance and feel of Thessaly Road Railway Bridge in Battersea near New Covent Garden Market. This follows long-standing plans by the council to improve the bridge following consultation with local residents. Wandsworth has organised community clean-ups and improved lighting under the bridge, but now wants to completely transform it.
The competition, which is open to architects, designers, artists and students, is an opportunity to turn the underpass into an attractive and user-friendly route for pedestrians and cyclists.
In keeping with the London Festival of Architecture’s mission to harness the talent of London’s architectural and creative community, the competition will bring fresh ideas to improve the built environment in this key location, and act as a valuable demonstration project for similar sites across London and elsewhere.
Through the call out to architects across Europe, a panel will make a technical assessment in March to determine which architects will be shortlisted to develop concepts. Through a public exhibition, local residents will help decide which practice is then selected to work with the community in developing the winning idea. The winning team will be awarded £20,000 to develop the design which, subject to planning, will be installed beneath the Thessaly Road Railway Bridge as part of the London Festival of Architecture in 2019. The overall budget for the project is £200,000.
The bridge is next to St George’s primary school and a new health centre which will open in 2021.
Detailed information about the design competition – including a detailed competition brief – can be found at www.londonfestivalofarchitecture.org. The deadline for first stage submissions is 23 February 2018.
An LFA spokesman said:
“London’s built environment is full of overlooked and unprepossessing spaces like Thessaly Road railway bridge, and this competition is a brilliant opportunity to show how thoughtful and imaginative design can transform the mundane into something quite special.
“At the London Festival of Architecture we are grateful to Wandsworth Council for providing this opportunity to showcase architectural and design excellence in London, and demonstrate the power of design in transforming London’s public realm.”
The Leader of Wandsworth Council, Cllr Ravi Govindia, said:
“We are delighted to be working with the London Festival of Architecture in finding an innovative solution to improving the bridge space in Thessaly Road and I am really looking forward to seeing the winning design. We have a long-standing association with the LFA and it’s good to be in partnership with them again on this project.
“The Thessaly Road underpass is much used by people in the local area but I think it’s fair to say that it’s definitely in need of a facelift. This competition is a great opportunity to work with the local community to come up with a creative design that will help revitalise this vital community gateway.”