Architecture festival throws a spotlight on Nine Elms on the south Bank

The London Festival of Architecture is out of the blocks with a raft of exciting events to come over the next month in Nine Elms on the South Bank.


Published on
June 3, 2016


The London Festival of Architecture is now in full swing and is shining a light on cultural attractions, community spaces, arts and parks taking shape in Nine Elms on the South Bank.

The area, which sits just a stone’s throw from Westminster, is increasingly attracting new families and businesses and emerging as one of the most vibrant quarters in the capital.

And this year Nine Elms is in the limelight with developers and architects across the area displaying their projects and highlighting the benefits they are bringing to the local community.

As well as tours of some of the iconic cluster of projects being built along this stretch of the River Thames, visitors and residents are being invited to hear about progress on new parks and open spaces which are central to the vision of the neighbourhood. Developers are also keen to highlight the rich cultural thread that has been woven into the fabric of the area as the new developments are built.

Highlights of the New Communities calendar include:

• Saturday 4 June: If I don’t Grow Lettuces, I can’t write poems
A talk and workshop by artist Lucy cash, Louisa Knight, who organises the Doddington and Rollo Roof Garden and architectural designer and writer Phil Pawlett-Jackson. The three local residents will talk about how the community roof garden, built on top of a former car park, and the Royal College of Art’s flagship new venue, StudioRCA, in Riverlight Quay can share the same neighbourhood. The event takes place between 3pm and 6pm. Places can be booked here in advance.

• Tuesday 7 June: The Art of Designing Civic Spaces
Members of the public are invited to join speakers from the Battersea Power Station Development Company and Kai-Uwe Bergmann, Partner at Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) to hear about their approach to creating public spaces and BIG’s designs for Malaysia Square, the new town centre at Battersea Power Station. The event is free but tickets will be given out under a ballot system. To apply people are asked to email with contact details and the number of tickets they would like. The event takes place between 6pm and 8.30pm.

• Wednesday 8 June: Sky Pool at Embassy Gardens – hear from the architects
A chance to meet Hal Architects and engineers Eckersley O’Callaghan, the team behind the Sky Pool at Embassy Gardens. The Sky Pool is a transparent swimming pool which will connect two buildings at Embassy Gardens 35m above street level. Places are limited and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

Saturday 11 June and Sunday 12 June: Edible Avenue SW8
Local schoolchildren and volunteers will be potting out the plants that will for them centrepiece of the Edible avenue, a community garden in Thessaly Road inspired by the nearby New Covent Garden Market. All are welcome to pitch in for these free sessions.

Thursday 16 June: Talk and Walking tour of Nine Elms Park with Huw Morgan
A talk and walking tour of the new Nine Elms Park which will eventually run from Vauxhall to Battersea Power Station, led by Huw Morgan, the landscape architect of the Embassy Gardens section of the park. The event is free but tickets must be booked here in advance.

• Thursday 16 June: Boat tour of the Thames Tideway Tunnel project
A tour of 12 construction sites along the Thames by the company tasked with building the capital’s new “super sewer”.
Tideway’s boat tours will offer views of Battersea Power Station from the river, Heathwall Pumping Station in Nine Elms, and Albert Embankment next to Vauxhall Bridge, after setting off from Westminster Millennium Pier. Places on the tours, which are set to run from 9am until noon and 5pm until 7.30pm,  are strictly limited. To register for this event contact

• Thursday 16 June: New Covent Garden, A Fresh New Business and Residential Community
Between 7.30pm and 9pm the New Covent Garden Market authority and developer Vinci St Modwen are offering a tour of the site of the market, which is undergoing major redevelopment.
Places are limited.  To book in advance visit the market’s website here

• Thursday 23 June: Supporting Communities Through Multi-Sector Partnerships
Vauxhall City Farm is used by schools and families and offers green workshops to people of all ages, as well as offering riding lessons for the disabled.
Developer St James worked with the farm on plans to give it more capacity for visitors while also building eight new homes. The public are invited to join the team on a walking tour between 10am and 11.30pm. Places are limited. People wishing to attend should email

• Saturday 25 June: The Residence Open Doors by Bellway Homes Thames Gateway
An open day at The Residence part of the 500 new homes being built by developer Bellway in Nine Elms Vauxhall. Visitors will have the chance to meet the architects behind the scheme. People are free to drop in to the development site, in Ponton Road, without booking in advance, between 10am and 5pm.

• Monday 27 June: A Tour of a Modern Icon by Caruso St John
The architect behind Damian Hirst’s Newport Street Gallery is offering a limited number of people a behind-the-scenes tour of the building. There are two tours – between 3pm and 4pm and between 4.30pm and 5.30pm. Places must be booked in advance by emailing

• On Thursday to Sundays throughout the festival: New Spring Gardens by Nine Elms Vauxhall Partnership
Built using rubble from the Keybridge House redevelopment site and live wheatgrass, Rachael Champion’s installation, New Spring Gardens is on display from 11am until 5pm in a converted railway arch opposite the Newport Street Gallery.
The New York-born artist’s piece is free to view and there is no need to book a place in advance.

– Ends –

Notes to editors:

For further information contact Henry Ellis at

Eight years of major investment at Nine Elms on the South Bank are paying off and the area is becoming a vibrant new central London quarter with hundreds of residents and businesses.

The area’s key attractions will included a revived Battersea Power Station, the new US and Dutch embassies, a new centre for London’s foodies at New Covent Garden Market, Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens, the new Nine Elms Park and a new stretch of Thames Riverside Walk lined with cafes, bars, shops and galleries.

The district is being shaped by world leading architects, developers and planners to create a truly mixed-use district with real city centre vitality.
A district-wide cultural strategy is hard-wiring cultural uses and spaces through each new development to ensure the area reaches its full potential as a new centre for arts and creativity on the South Bank.

Two new Tube stations are being built, alongside new schools, around 4,000 affordable homes, health centres, high-speed data networks, a second River Bus pier and a new cycling and pedestrian network.

The regeneration programme is privately funded and does not benefit from taxpayer funding.

Find out more at

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