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Four Southwark regeneration projects pick up NLA Awards

1 December 2021

Four projects linked to regeneration areas in Southwark picked up accolades from the New London Architecture (NLA) Awards last week, including the overall grand prize.

Plans to create a new walking route along the Victorian railway viaduct connecting Bankside, London Bridge and Bermondsey were honoured twice as best in the planning category and the overall winner of the awards.

Once complete, the Low Line will encourage residents and visitors to walk the length of its 3.5km green corridor, discovering each unique neighbourhood and connecting with nature. Public space in and around the railway arches will feature raingardens, wildflower meadows, pocket parks where people can meet, biodiverse roofs, thousands of plants, and hundreds of trees and wildlife habitats.

With three sections now open, walkers are already out exploring the Low Line. You can visit the independent and creative businesses that now call the Low Line home, while taking an audio tour uncovering Bermondsey’s secret histories or listening to a specially commissioned soundtrack inspired by hand-picked locations along the route.

In January 2020, architects PDP London won the international competition to develop an ecological vision for the Low Line. This green vision underpins the future development of the Low Line and has been recognised at the highest level by NLA at their awards.

Other projects included:

  • Elephant Park, winner in the placemaking category: a green oasis at the heart of Elephant and Castle as part of the £2.5bn regeneration project spearheaded by Southwark Council and Lendlease. Featuring expansive lawns, colourful rain gardens, a landmark water playscape, and pedestrian walkways, the park aims to be the first climate-positive development by 2025.
  • Southwark Park Pavilion, winner of the wellbeing prize: designed as part of Southwark Council’s wider plans to improve the park, this striking new focal point is home to a café, park offices, changing cubicles, meeting space and cycle stands – all supporting more people to enjoy the park and engage in healthy, active behaviours. Its wildflower green roof enhances local biodiversity and the building contains no fossil fuel reliant energy systems – it’s operated entirely electrically, part supplied by rooftop solar panels.
  • Roots in the Sky, winner in the UNBUILT category: a complete transformation of Blackfriars Crown Court, SE1 into work, wellness and community space sitting beneath an acre of urban forest on the roof holding 10 trees, 10,000 plants and a rooftop pool heated by waste energy.

Cllr Helen Dennis, cabinet member for climate emergency and sustainable development, said: “We are thrilled these four projects were recognised by the NLA panel, particularly the Low Line project being awarded the grand prize. Every aspect of the new walking route’s design centres on connecting people with nature, with community and with the distinct sense of place of each neighbourhood – all while mitigating the impact of the climate emergency. All four projects show that the sustainable vision and strategy the council is working to has been picked up by experts in the field.”

Page last updated: 01 December 2021