Grand Union Canal Urban Park project explores the stretch of the Grand Union Canal towpath on the Paddington Arm, in Westminster City, in West London. North facing, overshadowed by the A40 flyover or Westway, and flanked by a razor wire topped brick wall, this part of the towpath feels threatening.
We consider that there is an opportunity to regenerate this area, which currently is unloved and neglected in an otherwise beautiful length of canalside landscape.
The Grand Union Canal links London to Birmingham. After the second World War, due to competition from the railways, commercial traffic declined and ceased in the 1970s.
Today, the Grand Union Canal is alive with pleasure boats, walkers, cyclists and day trippers. It has recently seen an increase in residential boaters using the canals as an alternative to urban living. However, some parts of the canalside still remain unloved…
Over the Easter weekend we asked boaters and local residents what they would like to see there. The most popular ideas were an outdoor exercise for all ages, a playground, planting and to install a tap for the canal boaters whose presence in turn will add animation and activity to the area.
The photographs of their fantastic suggestions were displayed at the Great Western Studios, as part of the London Festival of Architecture 2017.
We believe that all or some of the proposed facilities could transform this area into a thriving destination.
We propose to create an Urban Park where the main feature is an installation conceived as a sculptural structure- an unbroken line, meandering on the canal towpath, becoming the support for calisthenics exercises, swings, seatings, planting, lighting, water tap…
Country: United Kingdom
Completed: In progress
Client: Grand Union Canal Urban Park CIC
Area: 300 m2
Contract Value: To be confirmed
Architect Assistants: Xingye Fan, Francesca Benetti Genolini
Photographs: Sophie Nguyen Architects