Vauxhall Missing Link : The Promenade of Curiosities

The Vauxhall Missing Link competition sought ideas to improve the urban realm of Vauxhall, creating a strong linear connection between the proposed Vauxhall/Nine Elms/Battersea (VNEB) regeneration site and the South Bank.
Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens inspired our Promenade, a route between attractions. The Promenade is about seeing and being seen, at day and at night. We drew on the concept of a Cabinet of Curiosities, a wonderful collection of curious things, in reference to John Tradescant, father of the English Cabinet of Curiosities, who is buried in the graveyard of what has since become the Garden Museum (the northern point of the Missing Link).
Vauxhall’s rich (hi)stories, past and present, formulate the concept for the curiosities, which are encountered along the Promenade. The Curiosities are permanent and temporary installations along the promenade. The curiosities define and make places. They are heavily informed by the history of Vauxhall as well as Vauxhall’s current industries and attractions and relevance to their residents.
Just as the Cabinet acts as framework for Curiosities, the Promenade provides such framework for Curiosities along the route. It establishes an overall, modern and uncluttered language for the Missing Link route. It connects Curiosities but also becomes part of the Curiosities. The promenade frames each curiosity with subtle changes in materiality, forming a chequerboard pattern with variously textured paving. It is the identifiable green pathway through Vauxhall, integrating sustainable urban drainage in the form of rain gardens that frame the scheme.
Location: London
Client: RIBA Competition
Cost: n/a
Status: Winning competition entry, 2013
Collaborators: J & L Gibbons