Mayor’s Great Spaces
Cutty Sark Gardens is one of the key projects in the Mayor’s Great Spaces initiative for public space. When you stand on Cutty Sark Gardens the history can be felt, the naval history and significance of the tea clipper, Cutty Sark that can be experienced in Greenwich. In preparation for the Olympic Games 2012 in London the task was to redevelop the run down transfer space into an inviting square. It was important to rediscover the forgotten qualities of the square on the Thames River and create a gateway to the centre of Greenwich.
Square of Ebb and Flow
Through the plan ‘Tidal Tectonics’ OKRA introduces the square of the ebb and flow, responding to the flows, not only of the river but also of people: quiet in the early hours and with a large number of visitors during holidays. The strength of the ‘tidal’ square is based on flexibility and joining paved open spaces with colourfully flowering gardens. ‘Tectonics’ is used as the metaphor of how the heights on the square create one unified surface surrounding the ship and green steps towards the river creating a balcony overlooking the city.
With the addition of Cutty Sark Gardens, London has another prominent space on the Thames, a crucial link in achieving their vision for a green connection along the river. Views of the industrial heritage, the skyline of London and the connection to the heart of Greenwich are important added values. The new square is a demonstration of how contemporary spaces can provide liveliness, but also offer the green backdrop for the 21st-century city.