Bow Riverside, footbridge and towpath

This footbridge and floating towpath beneath the A11 and Bow Flyover complete the 28-mile River Lea waterside route allowing walkers and cyclists to stay away from the busy A11 and Bow Roundabout.

The complex roadway and massive structures at Bow Roundabout previously made the River Lea an almost secret green world. This bridge reconnects the river to its neighbourhood and creates a series of distinct, connected river-oriented spaces. The singular cladding of timber fins and their shifting shadows echoes the reeds growing in the new spaces between structure and land and the cranked plan emphasizes the connection between towpath and water, whilst reducing the impact of ramps on the site and slowing down cyclists.

Below the A11 a floating towpath adds colour and warm light, amplifying movement on the water and reducing daytime contrast to feeling safer.

Press: Architects Journal 'Bridging Bow' March 2012

This brilliant little urban intervention, specific and local in context but important in strategic significance, demonstrates how to effortlessly integrate the provision of new infrastructure with people movement, new habitat creation and public art, whilst enhancing the existing character of a place with subtlety and imagination. Without doubt it is one of the best examples in London of how to design local movement infrastructure, it sets a benchmark for projects to follow in the Lea River Park and Design for London is proud to have been involved in making it happen.

Mark Brearley, Head of Design for London, 2011

Awards & Publications

  1. Winner: London's Best New Cycling Facility 2011 (London Cycling Campaign)
  2. Winner: RIBA London Regional Award
  3. Architect's Journal, 2012
  4. Shortlisted: European Urban Space Award
  5. Commended: New London Architecture award for transport and infrastructure
  6. Winner: New London Architecture Award, Public Spaces
  7. Winner: AJ Public Realm Architect of the Year Award
  8. Winner: Waterways Renaissance Award for Innovation
bow riverside 01
bow riverside 02
bow riverside 03
bow riverside 04
bow riverside 05
bow riverside 06
bow riverside 07
  1. Client: Canals and Rivers Trust
  2. Related projects: Olympic Greenway, Ocean Green