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£20m Vauxhall skywalk shelved

Plans to build a £20 million skywalk in Vauxhall, south London, have been dropped just weeks after Marks Barfield Architects won an international competition to design the project

The practice’s scheme for a raised walkway and giant glass cube (pictured) beat entries from Explorations Architecture, Heneghan Peng Architects, RFR Architects and Knight Architects (AJ 31.03.11) but was shelved following opposition from local stakeholders.

Marks Barfield, the architects behind the London Eye, have instead been asked to draw up plans for an alternative street-level scheme in Vauxhall as part of wider proposals to improve the quality of public realm in an area plagued by high volumes of traffic.

The walkway was to be part of a package of community benefits linked to developer CLS Holdingsproposal to build two 40-storey skyscrapers nearby, masterplanned by Allies and Morrison.

‘There was a consensus that a ground-level scheme should be investigated,’ said a spokesperson for CLS Holdings.

The decision to ditch the scheme has raised hopes for Arup Associates’ six-year-old bus station, with its distinctive ski jump roof. The building was threatened with demolition but could now be saved.

Julia Barfield of Marks Barfield said it was ‘too early’ to say whether the bus station would be retained. She added: ‘What we are trying to do is make a step change in the quality of public realm [in the area]. It’s quite a big ask but it is possible.’

Competition winner: Marks Barfield Architects' Vauxhall walkway proposal

Competition winner: Marks Barfield Architects’ Vauxhall walkway proposal

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