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Sydney-based architect Andrew Burns has won a competition to convert a group of London city laneways into a community garden, which will be unveiled in June to coincide with the London Festival of Architecture 2012.
Burns’ proposal was selected from a shortlist of three architects from Sydney in the limited-invitation competition, which asked applicants to transform an 85-metre-long cut-through known as Gibbon’s Rent in the London Bridge area into a shared park for local businesses and residents.
Burns’ appointment to the project follows his unanimous selection from a field of leading international architects to design the new Australia House complex in Japan, which is opening in late July 2012 as part of the Echigo-Tsumari Triennale.
The Gibbon’s Rent transformation will be produced in collaboration with award-winning British landscape designer Sarah Eberle, and will feature various plants and pots supplied from members of the public, businesses and local associations. These contributions to the garden’s central structure were inspired by similar activities in the laneways and alleys of Sydney and Japan.
“I am excited by the prospect of collaborating with Sarah Eberle… The Gibbon’s Rent project has been conceived as a place of the people, a garden of pots, based on a clearly designed ‘harlequin’ geometry with plants located outside the grid, encouraging passers to move through, pause, and investigate this forgotten space in London,” Burns said.
The project, an initiative of independent organisation The Architecture Foundation with Team London Bridge and Southwark Council, is intended to be a permanent intervention that will enliven a neglected corner of London.