After six months of finalizing, Gensler architects have found a financial backer for their award-winning riverside walkway along the Thames. Designed to float along the north shore from the Blackfriars bridge to the Tower of London, the river park will be the first of its kind along the Thames, providing unrivaled views and activities for tourists. The floating river park platform will be over a half mile long and 40 feet wide, and it will aim to revitalize the city by serving as a center for relaxation, education and entertainment.
The walkway will not only be environmentally friendly with lots of open outdoor space, but will also complement the culture of the city of London. Placed in the heart of the city, the long horizontal park connects many landmarks that are otherwise located down diagonal and difficult to navigate streets. The pathway itself will become a tourist destination with its ferry service, lush gardens , dining areas and even an open-air swimming pool.
Along the river park, visitors will also see anywhere from 5 to 8 pavilions that exemplify London. One will be dedicated to green energy, with displays of sustainable architecture, food, and gardening. Another pavilion will be geared towards education, with museum information and a family learning center available for visitors. An innovation pavilion will also grace the walkway, showcasing London’s newest tech gadgets and games, while the events pavilion will host concerts, operas, and special events.
After honoring the London river walk with the “Planning Excellence” award last year, Mayor Boris Johnson said, “The sheer beauty and design brilliance of this structure will provide yet another amazing and unique attraction for the capital. We will work… to ensure that one of the most famous and cherished waterfronts in the world is enhanced for the benefit of our great capital.”
The structure is fast-tracked to be completed in time for next summer’s 2012 Olympic games in London, where it is expected to be visited by nearly 10 million people.