The London Festival of Architecture and Butler’s Wharf Riverside Trust have revealed the six design teams shortlisted in the ‘Reimagining Butler’s Wharf’ competition, which aims to see the long-term transformation of one of London’s most popular riverside spaces, bringing visitors, Londoners and the local community back together on this historic jetty.
Over 50 teams of architects, landscape architects, designers and artists submitted design responses that aimed to unlock the site’s waterfront potential as an imaginative and engaging space for all, offering coherence to a path, which has otherwise evolved accidentally over the years.
Will Sandy, Landscape Architecture lecturer at Greenwich, with the team at McGregor Coxall have been shortlisted amongst the six design teams for further development.
McGregor Coxall’s concept takes the long view, connecting the postindustrial landscape of Shad Thames to its earlier natural Riverine roots. It presents a range of adaptable, reconfigurable modules that allow for endless arrangements, uses and locations.
Inspired by the cargo that once moved through the wharves and the transient landscape of trade and nature that have been present over the sites history. Their design is fluid, providing a continuation of this theme for the future. The Thames riverside has always been shaped by the interplay of culture and natural heritage that has flowed and ebbed over time.
The ‘Flow’ space presents a sensitive and reflective spatial experience. These multi-functional meanders create intimate spaces, with routes criss-crossing through the planting, weaving across the jetty, a reference to the historic estuarine character of the River Thames.
The design retains the East/West movement corridors along the river edge and commercial frontages. The modular nature of the meanders present a distinct identity for Butler’s Wharf, framing views to Tower Bridge and introducing new seating and viewing points that reconnect us with the River.
The ‘Ebb’ space draws us towards the river, framing identifiable points of arrival to Butler’s Wharf, strengthening the links between the structure of Shad Thames and the river edge. Here the maritime artifacts draw your eye through the site supporting wayfinding and providing a rich historic place narrative.
Taking us from industrial architecture into a more natural breathing space, these linear open spaces provide scope for future cultural activities. They are also supported by cycle parking, defined by biodiverse and estuarine planting and enriched through ambient lighting accommodating visitors day and night.
All the shortlisted ideas are now online as part of a virtual public exhibition and you are invited to vote for your favourite idea: