Good news, Londoners: Thomas Heatherwick's lush garden-topped bridge proposal just moved one step closer to construction after receiving planning approval from the Lambeth Council last night. Designed by Heatherwick Studio, Arup, landscape designer Dan Pearson, and actress Joanna Lumley, the 1,200-foot-long "Garden Bridge" project envisions a garden-filled pedestrian promenade spanning the River Thames to connect North and South London. The elevated park now awaits permission from the Westminister City Council to move forward to the next stage.
Early renderings of the Garden Bridge show a planted promenade with winding pathways elevated atop two fluted piers. “The Garden Bridge will be an extraordinarily special place, either to race across, relax in or look back at the rest of the city’s sights,” said Heatherwick after the Lambeth Council approved the project in a five-to-two decision. “It is fantastic that the Lambeth has helped London take one step closer to making it a reality.” Supporters of the Garden Bridge also say the groundbreaking design would serve as an important economic catalyst to the north bank area.
With an estimated price tag of £175 million, however, not everyone is on board with the Garden Bridge project, with some critics worried that the bridge will compromise key sight lines. If the project gets the thumbs-up from the Westminster City Council next month and raises the requisite funds, backers of the Garden Bridge expect the bridge to be built and opened to the public by 2018.