The upgrading and enhancements to the 1.1km long Upper Ground “spine-route” has given London’s South Bank major new public spaces and has radically improved access to the area for pedestrians and public transport. The scheme was developed in conjunction with the local community, local employers, the local authority and the Government Office for London.
It involved the narrowing and calming of the route, which had been used as a ‘rat-run’, and substantially widening the pavements to encourage pedestrian use. New lighting and specially designed street furniture reinforces the South Bank’s identity, while several hundred newly planted trees create a people-friendly street scene and an attractive setting for the Royal Festival Hall, the Hayward Gallery and the Royal National Theatre.
Most radically, a series of 6m high internally illuminated banners cantilevered from javelin shaped lamp posts. The banners were produced from individual artwork – the result of a national open competition that attracted over 3,000 entries. It provides the area with a major new outdoor venue for public art.
Client South Bank Employers’ Group
Location London, SE1
Status Completed 1997
Architect Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands
Structural Engineer Techniker
Main Contractor Schal
Photography Andrew Putler