Plans to revamp the railway arches running through Wandsworth and Lambeth to create an extension of Southwark’s “low line” have taken a step forward after a contract was awarded to a design agency.
The extension would create a continuous walking and cycling route from Battersea to London Bridge, to connect communities with the creation of new spaces alongside the viaduct.
Travel specialists Urban Flow and consultants Hatch will focus on socio-economic research, while the design contract with South London based Allies and Morrison, alongside architect Ash Sakula, will look at how to extend London’s Low Line through the Vauxhall Nine Elms and Battersea Opportunity Area.
As with Southwark’s Low Line, the aim is for a mix of businesses, from existing light-industrial to warehouses and then onto cafes and consumer venues.
The railway arches, roughly 250 of them, account for an estimated 776,000sqft of floor space and could become home to more commercial, community or leisure activity, while enterprises who already operate from arches will get extra support.
The aim is not to set out to deliver the concept as one piece, but instead to establish the potential and put in place the right underlying conditions to allow the vision to be realised incrementally and organically, over a longer period.