The renovation of Jubilee Gardens was completed in time for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebration in 2012 and as a key public venue for the London 2012 Olympics. The Park, designed by West 8, is a spectacular green public space along the Thames is now a focal point on the South Bank, adjacent to the London Eye, between Festival Hall and County Hall
Slightly elevated from street level, the gently sloping topography presents visitors with a truly spectacular view of London. The undulating hills allow for dramatic river views with a panoramic backdrop featuring the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben. The lush greens of the park reflect The All England Lawn Tennis Club; Wimbledon, while the stark white granite hard surface detailing is suggestive of the White Cliffs of Dover.
Multifunctional in its purpose, the wide pathways create opportunity for informal gatherings as well as performance spaces and a new adventure playground for younger visitors. The paved granite paths meander through 94 quintessential English park trees, including English Oaks, Common Beech and Lime Trees. Striking flowerbeds evoke grand planting schemes reminiscent of traditional Royal Parks.
The Jubilee Gardens were created in 1977 to mark the Silver Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II and were irretrievably damaged during the construction of the Jubilee line. The Diamond Jubilee afforded an opportunity to transform the remnant grassed garden into a world-class park. Access routes through the park connecting Belvedere Road, and nearby Waterloo Station to the Hungerford Bridge across The Thames to Queen’s Walk are key design features and are designed to be fully maintainable in the face of very heavy footfall.
However the overarching objective of creating a destination rather than a thoroughfare has also been achieved. Dwell time has dramatically increased and the gardens are truly an open space used 24 hours a day. The park’s central position in the heart of London nestled amongst the city’s notable public and cultural landmarks, together with its close proximity to a key public transport portal, namely Waterloo Station provide the set up to ensure that Jubilee Gardens will become one of the most recognisable and prestigious public green spaces internationally.
Landscape Architecture: West 8
Project: Jubilee Gardens
Location: London/United Kingdom
Size: 1.2 ha
Client: Southbank’s Employers Group on behalf of the Jubilee Garden’s Trust
In association with: AKT engineers, BDSP Partnership (mechanical/electrical), Davis Langdon
Photography: Jeroen Musch
West 8 urban design & landscape architecture b.v.
3024 EC, Rotterdam, the Netherlands