Tideway \

Reconnecting with London’s largest open space

Tideway is a major, city-wide investment in London’s wastewater infrastructure for the 21st century; offering an exciting opportunity to enhance the River Thames as the largest open space in the heart of London.

The challenge

Thames Tideway Tunnel follows a great tradition in Britain for treating major infrastructure works as a positive challenge to not only meet operational needs but also improve the quality and accessibility of civic, public space. While the completion of the project in 2023 will see a significantly cleaner Thames it will also provide new public spaces, many of which are situated on the river foreshore above the new civil engineering works.

The big idea

We are leading the architecture and landscape designs for the eight sites in the central section, all of which are located in prominent central London locations spanning five boroughs from Falconbrook Pumping Station in the west to Blackfriars Bridge in the east. Design proposals include the delivery of new landscapes on top of complex civil engineering structures in the Thames. These spaces will introduce a necklace of vibrant destinations along the river and offer a whole new experience of the water’s edge and entirely new views to and from the foreshore.

As part of our design process we have developed a carefully considered design framework that looks at the wider river context with consideration of unique local characteristics. This analysis has generated a greater understanding of the local communities and current river edge conditions within the context of a growing London while embracing a strategic urban vision along the river for greater connectivity and public realm that is rich in identity.

“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to re-imagine central London's largest open space and enhance the relationship between the city and the River Thames.”

Harbinder Birdi Partner Hawksin\Brown

Complex stakeholder environment

The project has been granted a Development Consent Order (DCO) and has a highly complex stakeholder environment. We are consulting with the Port of London Authority, Environment Agency, Transport for London, Marine Management Organisation, Historic England, Thames Water, RBKC, LB Wandsworth, City of Westminster, LB Lambeth and City of London, and other key stakeholders with local interest including Royal Hospital Chelsea.

An artist’s perspective

We will collaborate with artists at each site to integrate a diverse range of artworks into the architecture and landscape, offering the opportunity to creatively respond to Bazalgette’s pioneering sewer system as part of a project-wide heritage interpretation strategy.

Project Summary

Project Team

Contractor: Ferrovial, Laing O'Rourke
Landscape Architect: Gillespies
Lighting Designer: Studio Dekka
Multidisciplinary Engineer: AECOM


  • World Architecture Festival Awards 2018 - Infrastructure - Future Project - Highly commended

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