We’ve already got The Shard. Later this year, we’ll see the completed Cheesegrater and the Walkie-Talkie. Already, a fresh crop of construction projects are being proposed and they’re looking more futuristic than ever.
The London Octopus: A Futuristic Gateway to Central London
MAKE Architect’s contribution the skyline of Chiswick, will serve as a striking and futuristic gateway into Central London.
A key feature of the design is the “shroud” – made up of 30,000 LED lights – which cover the exterior of the building. It’s a feature which serves more than aesthetic purposes, by enabling art, advertisements and more to be displayed across the unusual, crystal-like façade.
In fact, its developers believe that the display will receive 100m “hits” a year, in the form of viewers in passing cars, who’ll be able to see it from as far as a mile away as they enter Central London on the M4 from Heathrow.
Not everyone is convinced that this dramatic structure is a fitting gateway to the heart of London and plans for the building have already been revised once to try to appease its critics. Current schedules expect the building to open in Spring 2015.
The Garden Bridge: A Tranquil Leafy Landscape
Imagine strolling from the South Bank to Victoria Embankment through a tranquil landscape of trees, plants and grasslands; all designed to take you on a journey through a series of different habitats.
This is the vision for the Garden Bridge, a new pedestrian walkway spanning a stretch of the Thames between Waterloo Bridge and Blackfriars Bridge. The northern end of the bridge will be accessible via Temple Underground station and the southern end via The Queen’s Walk.
According to TfL’s consultation document: “The Garden Bridge will integrate a new kind of public space into the fabric of the city, adding to London’s rich and diverse horticultural heritage of heathlands, parks, squares and community gardens.”
Designed by Thomas Heatherwick, the project was initially proposed by the actress Joanna Lumley. A charitable trust has now been formed to promote the project.
SkyCycle: Elevated Commuting Tracks
Elevated cycle lanes, high above roads, railways and even rooftops – this will be the commuting route of the future for London cyclists, if Foster + Partners’ SkyCycle project gets the go ahead.
It promises to provide a faster, safer commute for the city’s many cyclists. Of course, to be successful, such a project needs to have widespread coverage and the planners behind SkyCycle seem to have it all worked out. Covering 220km around the city, the network will have ten core routes, each of which will have the capacity for 12,000 cyclists an hour. In terms of speed, it could save commuters up to twenty-nine minutes per journey.
According to Lord Foster, SkyCycle is a logical solution to the cycling problem in London. “The greatest barrier to segregating cars and cyclists is the physical constraint of London’s streets, where space is already at a premium. SkyCycle is a lateral approach to finding space in a congested city”
As yet, the scheme needs to find funding in order to go ahead. However, it is supported by Transport for London and the London Mayor.
Will these futuristic structures change London for the better?