Habitable Bridge over the River Thames

London, United Kingdom

Habitable Bridge over the River Thames (1996) won the 1996 Thames Water Habitable Bridge Competition in London, UK. The competition sought to reinvigorate ideas around the use of urban space in London with a bridge between Temple Gardens and the London Television Centre to connect the north and south banks. The project develops upon Zaha Hadid’s student work Malevich’s Tektonik (1976-1977) and Museum of the Nineteenth Century (1977-1978), creating a mixed-use development across the Thames.  

The bridge featured loft spaces that could accommodate artist studios, offices, homes and a suspended public walkway below. In the presentation model, layering cantilevered shards slice across the river while echoing its sinuous form. It was exhibited in 1996 at Living Bridges: The Inhabited Bridge Past, Present and Future held at the Royal Academy in London. Hadid’s office worked with Ove Arup for the bridge’s engineering and a feasibility report was carried out by KPMG, but the bridge remained unrealised.