Twenty four highly prominent new surface sites along the route of London's famous River Thames form the only visible aspect of this visionary and complex engineering project.
Twenty four highly prominent new surface sites along the route of London's famous River Thames form the only visible aspect of this visionary and complex engineering entity, the thames tideway tunnel. The new drainage tunnel running far below Londons pavements. With a range of uses and designs, the sites and the structures on them will form a key part of Londons new urban landscape and public realm as we progress into the 21st Century.
The River Thames is one of London's most important resources for transport, ecology, commerce and leisure. With the project offering the unique opportunity to create new public spaces and piazzas along its banks, the proposals needed to balance numerous technical and policy constraints with the urban design and material quality demanded by the river's iconic status.
We designed the structures with the broad aim of giving users better contact (visual and where possible physical) with the water. Intertidal terraces, timber fenders and features to improve fish spawning were included where ever possible to contribute to the ecological health of the river. We chose to draw attention to the river's ebb and flow by inscribing a series of horizontal lines on the river walls to mark tide and flood levels. They would be engraved, cast or marked with fenders to illustrate current mean high and low water levels and flood defence levels.
Even though there is commonality between the sites through their location in the Thames' foreshore, the characteristics of the river and its banks vary greatly along its length. Each site has its own specific character and raises its own opportunities. The designs respond to this in different ways, from marking the starting line of the University Boat Race at Putney and responding to the monumental architecture of the Victoria Embankment to creating an elegant new walkway at Blackfriars which paves the way for possible future commercial development to enliven the generally underused North Bank.