Release date 12 December 2011
Design Council Cabe has highlighted the need for good design to be at the heart of the proposed surface developments which run the length of the Thames Tideway Tunnel, also known as the ‘supersewer’. The recommendations coincide with the first days of the London Policy Conference – billed as a ‘Davos for London’ – which is considering the major challenges for the city and how we shape its future.
In early 2011 Design Council Cabe established a design review panel to advise Thames Tunnel on its emerging proposals for the 22 sites along the length of the tunnel, which are the locations where the tunnel development extends above ground. Many of these sites are of unique historic, cultural or environmental significance as the tunnel passes beneath some of London’s most treasured landmarks.
Design Council Cabe has highlighted the need for the following:
1. A strong design vision for the project, informed by the needs and aspirations of those Londoners living along its route;
2. A set of guiding principles on design; and
3. A comprehensive study of the site conditions along the River.
The response highlights the significant opportunity to use design to inspire more Londoners to take advantage of the Thames and encourage a new appreciation of this great national asset. The Design Council has produced an interactive map of the site which can be viewed at www.designcouncil.org.uk/thamestunnel
Les Sparks, chair of the panel, said:
“As it follows the Thames through central London, this project marks its passage with a series of small developments in parks and alongside the river. These interventions create opportunities for useful and attractive new public spaces, and collectively announce the existence of this significant but unseen engineering achievement. The process should help secure the most imaginative design solutions that satisfy, but are not driven by, the engineering constraints of the project.”
Kirsteen Mackay, Head of Design Review for Design Council Cabe said:
“We believe that the Thames Tunnel could leave a positive legacy for the Capital that extends far beyond just a cleaner river. The new public spaces and buildings could make the Thames more accessible and easier to enjoy, allow a fuller understanding of the River’s historic features, support biodiversity, and even increase Londoners’ pride in their neighbourhoods and the city at large. The proposals above ground should celebrate this immense hidden engineering feat and the opportunity to enhance London, much like Joseph Bazalgette’s original great Victorian sewer system and embankments.”
Speaking of his experience of the design review process, Head of London Tideway Tunnels, Phil Stride, said:
“We found the Cabe design review to be a very constructive and open process which added real value to the development of the designs of the proposed Thames Tunnel sites, many of which are in prominent heritage or locally sensitive locations. By undertaking the design reviews at an early stage in the design, we found that we were able to get useful input from the Cabe panel members and early engagement from many of our key stakeholders who attended the reviews. The process has helped us to develop our designs, providing a strong framework on which to seek the views of the public and statutory stakeholders during phase two consultation. It is important that local people have their say on our proposals so that we can then develop and refine these designs in a way that meets the needs of the local communities.”
Notes to editors
To view Design Council Cabe’s comments on the Thames Tunnel proposals please visit the Design Council website at: http://www.designcouncil.org.uk/our-work/CABE/Design-Review/
For more information or to request an interview please contact Nigel Campbell, Head of Communications, Design Council on 020 7420 5282 / 07825 442339 / firstname.lastname@example.org
For high resolution images please contact Margarita Ktoris, Marketing and Communications Officer, Design Council on 020 7420 5213 / email@example.com