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
More from: Revealed: Folly for London winner
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
Green Fire of London by Ben Weir
Floating Tidal Exploded Bus Maze by Chris Doray Studio
Bulb by Anthropophagic Architecture Anonymous
Bifrost Bridge by Charlie Plumley
Huge Cake by Shimokawa Shohei
The Fairy Mushroom by Anna Pro and Kira Olkhovsky
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 mentions for priapic humour
Arseholes by Roly Tee
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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