London’s planned £4.2 billion Thames Tideway ‘super sewer’ will create acres of new public space on platforms built on the freshly cleaned up river. The project will see seven paved platforms at the following places: Putney Bridge, Albert Bridge, Chelsea Bridge, Victoria and Blackfriars Embankments, at the King Edward Memorial Park in Shadwell and replacing the Heathwall Pumping Station in front of Nine Elms at Vauxhall.
Thames Water says the platforms celebrate the city’s watersports, arts scene, as well as its ecology, all the while paying homage to London’s industrial past. The 15.5-mile-long Thames Tideway sewer will run from Acton in west London all the way to Stratford in the east and will prevent over 30 million tons of raw sewage every year from seeping into the Thames.
“The new platforms are in such prominent places,” says lead architect Clare Donnelly of Fereday Pollard, “opposite the Oxo Tower and the London Eye for example, so the design became very important early in the process. Our aim is to bring more people to the banks but without barriers between them and the water.”
London’s sewer system was built in the 1860s by engineer Sir Joseph Bazelgette and was built for a population half that of today’s eight million.
The platforms will be covering shafts that collect raw sewage before it makes its way into the river, diverting it instead to the new Tideway Tunnel 60 metres below, and onto a treatment plant in east London.
Building is set to begin sometime in 2020 and will take two years to complete.