london bridge 800
Organised on behalf of the Worshipful Company of Chartered Architects (WCCA), a Livery Company of the City of London, the competition marked the 800th anniversary of the opening of the first London Bridge in 1209AD. The competition invited designers to imagine a new version of the inhabited bridge.
The proposal sought to reclaim the bridge and provide the inhabitants of London with a parkland - an area of green where people can congregate rather than the bridge being simply a connection between two points. Elevators connect the bridge to underwater galleries which link up to piers upon the Thames. These piers allow barges and boats, market traders, cafes, bijou restaurants and tourist outings to connect with the public.
1209 - Old London Bridge is built
1831 - New London bridge is built 30m upstream. For a moment, two bridges sit side by side. Old bridge is demolished and becomes a memory
1967 - New London bridge is dismantles and sent to Arizona, USA, replaced by current London bridge.
2009 - Current London bridge is stripped down to its skeletal structure. Its ribs and voids are colonised by forest, ponds and parkland remaining tied to the city but distinct from it. An inhabited 'ghost bridge' is established on the water on the site of the 1209 Old London Bridge in boats temporarily docking to piers, providing a programme of services for the public. As the boats come and go, the programme changes, giving dialogue to the New Bridge - a conversation between new and old, distant and present.