The new Jubilee Gardens on London’s South Bank opens on time and on budget for The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Weekend
The flowerbeds have been planted, new grass turf and granite paths laid and the transformation of Jubilee Gardens on London’s South Bank into a new green landmark for London is finally complete, on budget, with the Gardens re-opening on Thursday 31 May, in time for The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations. The Jubilee Gardens is a project designed by West 8, and has been constructed by Frost Landscape Construction Ltd. Management of the Gardens will be the responsibility of the Jubilee Gardens Trust.
The Gardens were first created in 1977 to celebrate The Queen’s Silver Jubilee, and it is particularly fitting that 35 years on, the new Jubilee Gardens will open to the public in the landmark year 2012, for the Diamond Jubilee. The South Bank will be an important viewing point for this weekend’s Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant and the new Gardens will become one of the most visited green spaces in the country, appreciated not just by the millions who visit the South Bank, but also by local employees and residents.
The re-landscaping of Jubilee Gardens transforms what was a flat and featureless patch of grass into a lush, green landscape of the highest quality. The brief was to create a space which would be as soft and green as is sustainable, and the outcome is a wonderful new landscaped area, worthy of its Royal Jubilee associations and reflecting the quality of the South Bank’s cultural organisations, tourist attractions and high profile businesses.
Jubilee Gardens includes many appealing new features. 10,700m2 of high quality turf has been laid, and flowerbeds of the highest quality have been planted with Geraniums. Lilies will be planted in summer and Asters in October. There are elegant granite edges, formed from 1,169 granite pieces, providing extensive seating alongside a generous new granite path network. 27 lighting columns have been installed, together with a brand new playground including a ‘timber tangle’, ‘jungle arena’,’spider web’ and a flock of wooden sheep. In addition, the International Brigades Memorial, a tribute to British volunteers serving with republican forces in the Spanish Civil War, has been restored and re-located in a more accessible position, with adjacent seating areas.
69 mature new trees have been planted including English and Pin Oaks, Common Beeches, Red Beeches, Sweetgums, Bald Cypresses and Small Leaved Limes. Particularly elegant examples of the Common Beech may earn the name ‘Queen Beech’, which befits the Royal associations of the Gardens.
The transformation of Jubilee Gardens has been made possible by the partnership of neighbouring landowners, local business and community organisations, who now make up the Jubilee Gardens Trust. The new Jubilee Gardens has been supported by Kate Hoey, MP for Vauxhall, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, and the Shirayama Corporation, owner of the adjacent County Hall.
Boris Johnson, Mayor of London said:
“The reinvigoration of this stretch of grassland into a welcoming oasis for visitors and Londoners is simply superb. It not only makes this part of the capital an even more pleasant place to work and live but also more attractive to business looking to locate in the capital.”
Ted Inman, Chair of the Jubilee Gardens Trust said:
“The Jubilee Gardens Trustees are delighted with the exceptional quality of the design and construction of the new Gardens. We are determined to manage and maintain them in the best possible way for the benefit of the millions who will use and enjoy them.”
Notes to Editors
The Jubilee Gardens project is remarkable in bringing together the very wide range of partners listed below:
- South Bank Employers’ Group, an association of 18 major organisations in the South Bank neighbourhood, which has championed and coordinated the Jubilee Gardens project throughout.
- Southbank Centre which holds Jubilee Gardens on a long lease from the Arts Council, agreed to sub-lease the gardens upon completion to an independent Trust, to provide long-term management and maintenance and to work with Southbank Centre to present a cultural events programme on the new Gardens.
- The Mayor of London contributed £1.5m through Transport for London to ensure that the quality of public space in this part of the South Bank is right for the South Bank’s role in the cultural festival that will accompany the 2012 Olympics. Jubilee Gardens is one of the Mayor of London’s Great Outdoors projects, which aim “to transform the everyday experience of London’s outdoor spaces and create beautifully designed oases throughout the capital’s urban jungle”. For further details see below.
- Lambeth Council secured the Section 106 contributions from Shell and the EDF Energy London Eye which were the main funding for the scheme. The Council let the contract for the re-landscaping and, in line with its Cooperative Council policy, oversaw its delivery working in partnership with local stakeholders.
- Shell and EDF Energy London Eye contributed £3.6m via Lambeth Council with funds arising from Section 106 agreements, financial contributions from developers to mitigate the impact of their developments in the area.
- The Jubilee Gardens Trust, comprising Southbank Centre, EDF Energy London Eye, Shell, and representatives of local businesses, local residents and Lambeth Council, in taking responsibility for maintaining the gardens to the highest standards, both for day-night enjoyment and for cultural events.
- Kate Hoey MP and the local community in consistently championing the upgrading of the Gardens.
- the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, for supporting the project.
- the Shirayama Corporation (owner of neighbouring County Hall) for supporting the project.
- Other donors to the project, including the 29 May 1961 Trust, The Gosling Foundation, The Hobson Trust and the Kirby Laing Foundation.
- Frosts Landscape Construction Ltd are specialists in landscaping, gardening, green roofs and walls, ponds, block paving and more. www.frostslandscapes.co.uk
- The Mayor of London’s ‘Great Outdoors – A Manifesto for Public Space’ is supported by two practical guides, ‘Better Streets’ and ‘Better Green and Water Spaces’. Together they set out the Mayor of London’s vision for improving public spaces in London. This will ensure that our streets, squares, parks and green and water spaces are fit for a great world city, are enjoyed by everyone who visits them and most importantly, help improve the quality of life in the capital. They are accompanied by an implementation plan that will see £355m invested in 80 public realm improvement projects between 2009 and the 2012 Games; funding for which comes from Transport for London, The London Development Agency and London’s boroughs as well as other sources. The measures include redesigned streets, which can be shared by both the pedestrians and vehicles and reclaimed derelict green spaces and underused waterways. The manifesto and guides have been written and produced by the Greater London Authority, London Development Agency, Design for London and Transport for London. For further information please go to www.london.gov.uk
West 8 is an award-winning international office for urban design and landscape architecture founded in 1987. Over the last 20 years West 8 has established itself as a leading practice with an international team of 65 architects, urban designers, landscape architects and industrial engineers. West 8 developed projects all over the world in places such as Shanghai, Seoul, Copenhagen, London, Moscow, New York, Madrid, Toronto and Amsterdam. The office gained international recognition with projects such as Schouwburgplein in Rotterdam (NL), Borneo-Sporenburg in Amsterdam (NL), Chiswick Park in London (UK) and Expo ’02 in Yverdon-les-Bains (CH). Many of the projects are the result of groundbreaking entries in important international competitions. Recently won competitions include Toronto Waterfront in Toronto (CA), Governors Island in New York (USA), Playa de Palma in Mallorca (ES) and Yongsan Park in Seoul (KR).
Amongst the numerous awards received by West 8 are the Honor Award of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), Lifetime Achievement Award for Architecture 2011, Mondriaan Fund (formerly BKVB), the International Urban Landscape Gold Award (IULA), the Prix de Rome, the Dutch Maaskant Award, the Bijhouwer Award, the Rosa Barba First European Landscape Prize, the Green Pin and the Veronica Rudge Green Prize for Urban Design.