Team London Bridge
have had a very fresh start to 2017 with two new Fresh Air Square parklets installed
in the area. Back in spring 2015, Team London Bridge (TLB) and
partners held a competition to design a series of parklets in
the London Bridge area – the concept was to create modular, portable
micro-parks that replace car parking spaces for a period of one week to a year,
improving the local environment and monitoring the air quality around it.
Since then, WMBStudio’s striking design has
become synonymous with the London Bridge area, bringing fun, colour, high quality
design and planting to the public realm, and instigating demand for more of the
parklets to be installed.
At the end of December the new Fresh Air
Squares were installed by CJS Plants; a bold yellow outside the Unicorn
Theatre, and the second outside 1 London Bridge, in vibrant orange. Due to the Unicorn
installation’s more shaded position the parklet contains plants such as Fatsia
Japonica, Dryopteris Atrata and Helleborous Niger whereas the
environment outside 1 London Bridge allows for Prunus Serrula trees and
underplanting of Huchera, Vibernum Tinus and Nandina Domestica.
Although small installations, the pocket
parks serve as useful trials and demonstrate Team London Bridge’s long term
aspirations to transform the area’s public realm into one which gives greater
priority to the needs of pedestrians, improves air quality, greening and biodiversity,
in addition to championing high-quality, innovative design.
Following a successful year-long trial on Tooley
Street, the original Fresh Air Square has been moved to the front of Tower
Bridge Primary School, but Team London Bridge are keen to explore how space on Tooley Street can be used for more sustainable activities than parking – be it cycle parking, electrical vehicle charging points or green spaces.
Our thanks to Southwark Council, TFL, London
Bridge City, Unicorn Theatre, WMB Studio and CJS Plants for making the project happen.