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Forgotten Spaces: Old Kent Paradise by Martin Ebert of Studio Meda

[SOUTHWARK] Public gardens to improve a busy roundabout site, envoking memories of its rural past

In contrast to the current situation, Martin Ebert looks to provide a space of serenity and peace, a beautiful walled garden in the heart of Bermondsey.

The proposal accepts that the fly-over and parts of the roundabout are necessary infrastructure elements but investigates how these elements can be manipulated and developed. The aim is to turn what is currently a black hole in the local urban fabric into a multi-layered local asset.

Ebert proposes that one side of the roundabout is cut off in order make the centre accessible to pedestrians. Although the fly-over will remain a campanile, or small tower will balance the visual impact of this intrusion, while providing a flexible space for community activities.

A square of green walls and colonnades will give clarity to the space in the midst of undefined openness and simultaneously create a contemporary urban version of a traditional English walled garden. The walls will mitigate the noise and traffic interference but also provide necessary infrastructure to the park such as bike stands, a bandstand, storage for gardening and sport equipment, public toilets and a cafe. Openings and colonnades will define views and access points into the garden.

Within this garden, the direction of the Roman road will be reinstated, thus enabling elements of the historic fabric of the space to again become legible.

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

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