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A new green vision for the low line through the heart of south London

Better Bankside, the Low Line Steering Group and the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) have announced that the Low Line Commons is the winner of the international competition to develop an ecological vision for the Low Line.

Following the path forged by the railway viaducts through Bankside, London Bridge and Bermondsey, the Low Line stretches through some of London’s oldest neighbourhoods.

The Low Line is a long-term project. It will incrementally unfold as different opportunities and strands of funding become available. Having a coherent and creative green vision for the project will ensure that it can be delivered with sustainability at its heart and have benefits for people and wildlife.

Launched in July 2019, the Low Line RIBA Competition received eighty-two entries from architects, landscape architects, ecologists, engineers, artists and other professionals, spanning thirty-five countries. It challenged teams to present a green and creative vision and strategy to underpin the future development of the Low Line.

The winning concept, The Low Line Commons, was conceived by PDP London architects, working with Macfarlane and Associates Landscape Architects, Greengage sustainability consultants and Studio 4215 environment consultants. It aims to build a common vision for the Low Line and puts the local community, as well as nature, at the heart of the project. The design offers four interlinked themes to help guide the emerging Low Line – productive green infrastructure, convivial public space, diverse and green economy, and historical and cultural connections.

Nature is fundamental to the project – it will create accessible new green connections, and incorporate a variety of ecological interventions, helping to improve local air quality and create a healthier environment. It proposes a sustainable drainage system using ecological engineering methods, such as bioswale planting and street-level rain gardens, to avoid surface flooding and store water. The project features increased green infrastructure – tree planting, community gardens and wildlife habitats.

Pedro Roos, Partner at PDP London Architects said:

“We are delighted to have been announced as the winners of the competition. Low Line Commons aspires to be a shared natural and cultural resource of the people, by the people and for the people. It aims to transform the arches from being a barrier to a seam sensitively knitted into the multiple layers of the local context. We look forward to working with the client team in developing the Low Line as a robust piece of infrastructure for London that creatively tackles the current environmental, economic and social challenges head-on”.

For more information about the project click here. 

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