A blocked off railway arch under the tracks in Nine Elms could be opened up as a new pedestrian tunnel. What is officially plain Arch 42 would create a walking link that starts just outside the back of the future Nine Elms station on the Northern line and the cluster of new blocks of flats and the US Embassy on the north side of the mainline railway.

At the moment, such a journey would involve a lengthy detour along the Wandsworth Road.

Arch 42 location on Google Map

To open up the tunnel, a design competition has been launched by the London Festival of Architecture (LFA) and Wandsworth Council to decorate the interior lining of the railway arches.

The open call is for architects, landscape architects, designers and artists to create new gateways at the entrances of ‘Arch 42’, improving the visibility of the new route and connecting the existing and emerging neighbourhoods around the railway line.

The new gateways to Arch 42 will also form part of significant public realm improvements around the new Northern Line stations including new pavements, tree planting, increased cycle parking, new seating and wayfinding.

The deadline for the first stage of the competition – a simple call for expressions of interest – is midday on Friday 23 October. Shortlisted teams will then develop their proposals to feature in a public exhibition in November. The winning design will be installed ahead of the opening of the Northern Line Extension.

The entry details are here.

How about a design based on the demolished Royal Station that used to be nearby?


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  1. CityLover says:

    Why not open it straight away!!?? It’s like the middle ages again with lack of river and physical barrier crossings

  2. JP says:

    I bet that lots of entries will reference viruses and BLM using recycled masks or somesuch.
    As it leads to the embassy quarter perhaps the south portal can be festooned with Yank flag, Coke can and apple pie murals. The north one? How about Union and EU flags, Irn Bru and apple crumble ones?

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