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Bernie Spain Gardens: West 8 chosen to upgrade South Bank park

30 years after Bernie Spain Gardens was opened on the South Bank, a design by Dutch firm West 8 has been picked for an upgrade to the popular riverside open space.

Bernie Spain Gardens: West 8 chosen to upgrade South Bank park
Image courtesy of West 8
Bernie Spain Gardens: West 8 chosen to upgrade South Bank park
Image courtesy of West 8

West 8's 'pollinator garden' is the winner of the design competition to upgrade the northern section of Bernie Spain Gardens between Upper Ground and the River Thames.

"Bernie Spain Gardens are a sleeping beauty that will become an adored haven not only for flowers and pollination but also for people," said Adriaan Geuze of West 8.

"The participation of the local community will be an integral part of the of the revitalisation and future success of the upgrade of the northern garden.

"The seasonal pollinator gardens will become a meeting point for the area's diverse community of residents, office workers, and visitors.

@The design vision for the gardens is deeply rooted in the English DNA of creating gardens. It will be a horticultural display garden and an educational landscape for children and for everyone who does not have access to a garden."

The competition, launched at the end of 2017, was run by the social enterprise owner and manager of the gardens, Coin Street Community Builders (CSCB).

West 8 was one of five shortlisted competition entrants, the others being Bradley-Hole Schoenaich Landscape, J & L Gibbons, Kinnear Landscape Architects (KLA), and Reynolds Design.

West 8's other local work includes the 2012 upgrade of Jubilee Gardens.

The selection panel, chaired by Paul Finch, included Sue Foster and Sandra Roebuck of Lambeth Council, Rob Smith and Kfir Yefet (board members of CSCB); Iain Tuckett and Alison Pinner (group director and deputy group director of CSCB).

The competition was organised by Ted Inman, chair of the Jubilee Gardens Trust.

CSCB and West 8 are working to refine the brief in the light of points raised and public feedback during the competition process.

A reference group of residents is to be established which will include one or more horticultural training practitioners.

Then next stages of design and consultation will be undertaken with a view to submitting a planning application to Lambeth Council by the end of the 2018.

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