The project

The Garden Bridge project began as a simple idea – a beautiful new garden floating above the River Thames. Imagine crossing the river surrounded by wildlife. Imagine gazing out at the city with your view framed by greenery. Imagine a morning commute through a peaceful garden. The Garden Bridge Trust has a mission to turn this idea into a reality.

What is the Garden Bridge?

The Garden Bridge is a new 366m-long footbridge that will stretch across the River Thames, from the top of Temple underground station on the Northbank to the South Bank. The bridge will hold an expansive garden. Footpaths will weave through the garden, creating a new pedestrian route which will be free and open to all between the hours of 6am–midnight. 

The garden will be an enchanted space in the middle of the busy city. It will feature an abundance of plants, trees and shrubs indigenous to the UK, Northern Europe and other parts of the world. These have all been chosen for their biodiversity, bringing wildlife and horticulture to the heart of London. The planting has been carefully designed to ensure that it will frame and enhance views of the iconic landmarks of London.

The garden consists of several sequential spaces, designed to reflect a number of different characteristics of the rich cultural heritage of the capital’s river and both river banks, so that a pedestrian crossing the bridge will walk through an ever-changing seasonal landscape.

The south end will have a more relaxed aesthetic, featuring plants reflecting South Bank’s marshland history such as willow, birch, alder, geranium, violet and primrose.

At the north end, planting will be inspired by Temple Gardens’ history of ornamental gardening, featuring wisteria, magnolia, roses, alliums, irises and summer snowflakes.

Holding the garden will be a beautifully engineered copper-nickel structure. Its warm colour will provide a contrasting finish to the stone and steel structures that characterise the architecture on both sides of the river.

The bridge has been designed to offer pedestrians a series of unique spaces throughout the garden, providing a sense of intimacy on your journey across the River Thames. There are opportunities to stop and look, to explore and meander through the gardens, or walk directly across as part of a wider journey.

The Garden Bridge will be created for the enjoyment of people for generations to come. This new landmark will showcase the best of British design and will be used by all, becoming a cherished part of London’s landscape.

What will the Garden Bridge do for London?


78% of Londoners support the Garden Bridge*

 

* (ComRes, July 2015)

With a young child at school in Covent Garden, I experience daily this area’s desperate need for a safer, more child-friendly bridge. The wonderful riverside here would be greatly enhanced with this addition of greenery, not to mention the environmental benefits.

— Roslyn Shaw, Lambeth resident

This is a wonderful innovation that will bring yet more colour and natural diversity to our vibrant city landscape.

— Renee Smith, Southwark resident

We look forward to the creation of what would be a remarkable horticultural achievement in the centre of the Greatest City on Earth… we hope that the vision of the social/community programmes helps to educate us all about our natural surroundings.

— Sir Nicholas Bacon, RHS President

The Garden Bridge will enrich London. It was an amazing battle to build the Millennium Bridge and no one would dream of saying it was a bad idea now. I’m all for the Garden Bridge… It would be wonderful. I’ve always argued we need more bridges because it opens up more routes through the city. There are something like eight times as many bridges across the Seine as there are across the Thames.

— Lord Richard Rogers of Riverside

We are very supportive of the Garden Bridge as we can see how transformational it will be in how people move around this area. The new crossing will be a landmark in London, connecting two of the capital’s historical and cultural hubs – The Northbank and South Bank. It’s going to help us put The Northbank on the map and complement the work we are doing to make the area a more attractive place to visit, work or live.

— Ruth Duston, Chief Executive of The Northbank Business Improvement District

ENVIRONMENTAL BENEFITS

London is the greenest capital in Europe, with 40% of its surface area made up of public greenery. The garden will confirm London’s status as such, bringing a new kind of garden for the whole community to enjoy. The garden will host apprenticeships, educational programmes and champion environmental causes. The Garden Bridge will be an iconic environmental landmark and will provide clear benefits to wildlife, as well as enhancing biodiversity and improving air quality.

 

A BETTER WAY TO GET AROUND LONDON

We want people to stop using transport to make short journeys, get on their feet and enjoy the fresh air. Unfortunately, current bridges are so congested with traffic that walking across the river can be a stressful experience. The Garden Bridge will be a serene, relaxing environment where people will fall back in love with travelling by foot, encouraging more pedestrians in London.

 

AN ECONOMIC BOOST

The Garden Bridge will be a world-class landmark, reinforcing London’s status as an ambitious world city. It will support areas of development on both sides of the river. Completing the loop between the cultural centres on the Northbank and the South Bank will create a magnet for further investment and bring new jobs to the area. The Garden Bridge will also deliver local jobs and other opportunities both during construction and once the bridge is built.

 

A SHOWCASE FOR CREATIVE TALENT IN THE UK

The visionary concept of the bridge and its high quality design led by UK firms will be an opportunity for the UK to showcase its expertise in design, engineering and landscaping and build upon London’s international profile as the centre of the creative industries.
About the project

Designing the bridge

Thomas Heatherwick

Thomas Heatherwick

BRIDGE DESIGNER

Thomas Heatherwick is an acclaimed designer and founder of Heatherwick Studio. Notable projects include the 2012 Olympic Cauldron, the New Bus for London and the award-winning UK Pavilion for the Shanghai World Expo 2010.

Heatherwick is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects (Hon FRIBA), a Royal Designer for Industry (RDI) and a Senior Research Fellow at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Dan Pearson

Dan Pearson

GARDEN DESIGNER

Dan Pearson is an award-winning landscape designer and a pioneer of contemporary naturalistic perennial planting in the UK. Notable projects include the Tokachi Millennium Forest and Maggie’s Cancer Centre London.

Pearson trained at the Royal Horticultural Society, Wisley and the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew.

Dan is an Honorary Fellow RIBA and a Royal Designer for Industry (RDI).

Arup

Arup

BRIDGE ENGINEER AND LEAD CONSULTANT

Arup is one of the world’s best-known names in engineering, with a reputation for visionary solutions, independence and quality. Founded in London in 1946 and with a global workforce exceeding 12,000, Arup is known for its deep technical knowledge and a commitment to integrated design.

Arup has worked on a number of iconic bridges, buildings and landmarks in London including the Millennium Bridge, the renewed St Pancras and King's Cross stations and the London Aquatics Centre.