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Revealed: Folly for London winner

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A flame on a pier in the River Thames has been revealed as the winner of a satirical ideas competition seeking alternatives to Heatherwick’s contentious Garden Bridge

Chosen from 50 submissions, the winning scheme by Ben Weir features an eternal flame dedicated to 21st century planning departments and developers mounted on a structure jutting out into the Thames.

The flame would be fuelled by the removal of trees from London’s parks, which in turn would free up land for developers to build luxury schemes.

The international contest was launched as a protest against the controversial Thomas Heatherwick-designed London bridge and was judged by Guardian political cartoonist Martin Rowson, Green Party leader Natalie Bennett and Owen Hatherley.

The full list of winners

Overall winner

Green Fire of London by Ben Weir

Winner: Green Fire of London by Ben Weir

Runners up

Floating Tidal Exploded Bus Maze by Chris Doray Studio

Runner up: Floating Tidal Exploded Bus Maze by Chris Doray Studio

Bulb by Anthropophagic Architecture Anonymous

Runner up: Bulb by Anthropophagic Architecture Anonymous

Greenwash winners

Bifrost Bridge by Charlie Plumley

Greenwash winner: Bifrost Bridge by Charlie Plumley

Huge Cake by Shimokawa Shohei

Greenwash winner: Huge Cake by Shimokawa Shohei

The Fairy Mushroom by Anna Pro and Kira Olkhovsky

Greenwash winner: The Fairy Mushroom by Anna Pro and Kira Olkhovsky

Honorary mentions for absurd transport infrastructure

Devil’s bridges by Valentina Kholoshenko and Valeriia Potashko

Honorary mentions for absurd transport infrastructure: Devil’s bridges by Valentina Kholoshenko and Valeriia Potashko

Jesus Square and Bridge by Andrius Daujotas and Tautvilė Džiugytė

Honorary mention for absurd transport infrastructure: Jesus Square and Bridge by Andrius Daujotas and Tautvilė Džiugytė

Honorary mentions for priapic humour

Arseholes by Roly Tee

Honorary mention for priapic humour: Arseholes by Roly Tee

Scrotopolis by Huren Marsh

Honorary mention for priapic humour: Scrotopolis by Huren Marsh

Backed by artist Will Jennings, the Folly for London contest sought ‘alternative and equally absurd designs’ for the Thames site.

Bennett, said: ‘[The entries] had fully grasped the need to highlight the absurdity of the garden bridge project, which is cutting down trees and destroying a public green area to create a privatized artificial, view-blocking structure, funded with transport money when cycles won’t be allowed and pedestrians barred from it overnight.’

Hatherley, added: ‘Given that the Garden Bridge is the sort of whimsical, thoughtless project you’d expect a slightly dim architecture student to reject, and given that it is now to be backed up with enormous quantities of public money, these proposals gave exactly the correct response - full of scorn, humour and imagination.

‘The three winners all responded with projects that combined satirical silliness with warnings for the future London is making for itself - destroying real public space and replacing it with tourist tat, decimating its social infrastructure for photo opportunities and property development. May they shame the Garden Bridge out of existence.’

The entries will go on display at St John’s Church in Waterloo from 24 September to 4 October.

 

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Readers' comments (2)

  • I dream of a competition for a Public Inconvenience - financed by Boris & George (courtesy of ourselves) - but it's a nightmare, because it'd probably get built.

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  • I'm very disappointed that none of the applicants have set out their particular 'red-tape shortcut' which would help circumvent tiresome competition and entitle them to build their project and be paid for doing so - things such as having been the neighbour or nanny of the Mayor of London, or being the Da Vinci of our age, or having next to no experience of building a folly before. I don't want to see such large amounts of public money wasted on somebody who has a track record or knows what they are doing.

    Nevertheless Scrotopolis would work very well with the cluster of phalluses emerging along the South Bank.

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