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Garden Bridge, London, United Kingdom

A proposed pedestrian bridge with a garden in London

The 366m Garden Bridge was designed as a new piece of infrastructure spanning the River Thames. It also included plans to incorporate a 2500m² planting area for tree and plant species on the bridge deck.

Arup's multidisciplinary team worked closely with a range of sub-consultants including Heatherwick Studio, over a four year period, to develop the idea for a new pedestrian bridge in Central London from concept to detailed design. This included testing and development of design options, consultation and engagement, securing consents and approvals and supporting the procurement process for award of the construction contract. The Arup led team comprised a broad range of services including project management, design and engineering, landscape and environmental assessment, transport planning and maritime engineering.

One of the team’s biggest tests was the selection of material for the bridge's exterior. Together with Heatherwick Studio, our materials specialists proposed that the steel bridge and concrete piers should be encased in a thin layer of the marine alloy copper-nickel, roll bonded to steel to create a corrosion-resistant structural skin.

It was equally important to create an environment that would allow the bridge’s garden to flourish. The bridge was designed with significant soil depths, particularly over the proposed two piers, to allow the plant roots to grow and establish. Arup’s landscape architects and ecologists worked in conjunction with garden designer Dan Pearson, with advice from the Royal Horticultural Society, to ensure species suited to a bridge environment were selected.

On the 14th August 2017 the Garden Bridge Trust confirmed the project would not go ahead.