The Netherlands

West 8 urban design & landscape architecture b.v.

Nico Koomanskade 1021
3072 LM Rotterdam
The Netherlands

+31 (0) 10 485 5801


West 8 Brussels urban design & landscape architecture bvba

Waaienberg 123
1745 Opwijk

+31 (0) 10 485 5801

United States

West 8 urban design & landscape architecture p.c.

2133 Arch Street, Suite 101
Philadelphia, PA 19103
United States of America

+1 347 371 2252

Creating room to breathe

Bernie Spain Gardens, London, UK

Embracing the unique context of London’s South Bank and paying homage to the legacy of Bernadette Spain.

The design’s strong botanical, educational and community focus fully embraces the garden’s unique context and pays homage to the legacy of Bernadette Spain, a local campaigner on health and housing provisions in the 1970s, after whom the gardens are named.

The plans for Bernie Spain Gardens North and the new Queen’s Walk Gardens are based on consultation with neighbours, a survey of users, a design competition, and the development of detailed designs and management strategies overseen by local residents. 

West 8’s design features two illustrious pollinator gardens at the heart of the park, enclosed by an intimate garden-like setting complete with a custom-designed gardener’s pavilion. The pollinator gardens feature an abundance of nectar and pollen-rich flowers, creating the ideal habitat for foraging, shelter and nesting for birds, bees, butterflies and moths throughout the seasons. With spectacular colourful and scented floral displays, the garden features native floral diversity and provides a valuable resource for declining pollinator populations, currently at risk due to habitat loss, introduced diseases, pesticide poisoning, and pollution. It will be here that residents, workers and visitors can spend time and interact with nature.

Along the South Bank Riverside Walkway, the gardens are part of a world-class public realm used by thousands of visitors. Here, several gently curving seating alcoves provide natural gathering spaces, a unique aspect towards the River Thames and an elegant buffer between the more intimate atmosphere of the inner gardens.

The new gardener’s pavilion will be fundamental to establishing a sense of stewardship. Inspired by the traditional garden shed, this classic structure is given a contemporary twist. Rendered in a combination of wood and glass, it features several custom-designed rooftop beehives.

This design will transform the garden from its current function as a pedestrian thoroughfare into an idyllic garden; its charm will fascinate residents, workers and visitors throughout the seasons. The bold yet elegant design, with its botanical heart and robust, high-quality materials, balances seasonality and romance with careful attention to functionality and flexibility.


Coin Street Community Builders


AKT II, Tim O’Hare Associates


© West 8