The Overall Winner of the New London Awards is Low Line Commons by PDP London, this was also the winner in the PLANNING category.
The New London Awards, supported by the Mayor of London celebrate all scales of projects, from community-led to large mixed-use developments, both built and unbuilt, that contribute to the creation of a more sustainable, civilised, and egalitarian London.
Highly praised by the international team of assessors for its sustainable vision and strategy, Low Line Commons will create a 3.5km green corridor along the Victorian railway viaduct, stretching from Bankside, through London Bridge to Bermondsey. Commissioned by the Low Line Partners it will increase environmental resilience by promoting innovative greening and sustainability initiatives that mitigate climate change. The design also celebrates the diversity and heritage of each neighbourhood it passes through with a series of hubs that encourage communities to come together and share a sense of place.
The proposal focuses on key, topical aspects, including:
- Establishing biodiversity and ecological connectivity
- Building climate resilience
- Connecting people with communities and nature
The streets and spaces around the viaduct currently divide neighbourhoods, blocking access and creating dark and oppressive areas. Whilst the viaduct is a common element, the surrounding spaces also have their own unique characteristics. With Low Line Commons, PDP London aims to tie these areas together into a coherent whole, whilst celebrating diversity and their unique characteristics. Included in the proposal are:
- 50,000sqm biodiverse roofs
- 500 new trees
- 30 sustainable drainage systems raingardens
- 10,000 plants
- 100 new wildlife habitats
- 1,000sqm wildflower meadows
- 500sqm ‘grey to green’ de-paving projects
- 30 pocket spaces supporting social interaction
- 3.5 km carriageway transformed to support green business and active travel
- Additional elements include pocket parks, productive private green spaces, sensory play areas, pedestrian priority, lighting, canopies, seating, and pop-up uses.
PDP London is an established award-winning practice. The firm has designed a wide range of projects in the capital including Duke of York Square, the refurbishment of Cadogan Hall and Royal Hospital Chelsea. It has recently won planning permission for the refurbishment of the House of Fraser department store on Oxford Street.
NLA’s Curator-in-Chief and Chair of the Judging Panel, Peter Murray said:
The NLA’s mission is to help create a better city. What is better than taking grotty, left-over pieces of urban fabic and stitching them together into spaces that can used by local communities as well as providing linked-up walking routes that support active travel strategies?”
International Judge Eleanor Sharpe, Executive Director, Philadelphia City Planning said:
“The volume of outstanding nominees to review symbolizes a sustained bright future for architecture in London to continue to be a world leader in thoughtful consideration of users; public and private, of space: community and corporate and of pressing social concerns; from sustainability to affordable housing and accessibility, that challenge our current world and built environment. The chosen winners across all the categories reflected some combination of deliberate sensitivity to the above and more. These projects embrace design to make our various environments to live, work and play, beyond pleasing and functional”.