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Forgotten Spaces: Between + Nowhere by James Stopps

[LAMBETH] Waiting room gardens under the roof of the old Eurostar terminal of Waterloo Station

Delays in converting the Grimshaw-designed Waterloo International terminal from the Eurostar station into one for domestic trains has prompted James Stopps to propose it’s turned into a garden. But rather than a conventional horticultural haven, the vivid scheme re-imagines the space as ‘an enchanted garden; a romantic ruin; a representative of nature in the metropolis; a deviation from the monumentality of the railway lifestyle and the commodified spaces of the concourse’.

The evocatively entitle ‘Between + Nowhere’ is a garden only accessible to those using the Waterloo to Egham train, and represents a microcosm of the route between the two. It will provide ‘Eghamites’ traveling the route with a space to call their own, and a stage set for alternative patterns and interactions.

The planting involves dead trees to encourage wildlife, which is intended as a strong analogy for the scheme. Dead wood is a stable organic entity that provides a launch pad for new life. ‘The scheme takes the dead terminal and announces it as a stage on which the commuter can regenerate himself,’ say James Stoppes.

Forgotten Spaces: All 20 shortlisted entries feature in a public exhibition at the National Theatre until 4 July

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