London Mayor Boris Johnson has called it ‘transformational’. With slightly less of the Johnson hyperbole, we’ll opt for ‘promising’. But if the newly released images of the Nine Elms development in Vauxhall are anything to go by, the project will certainly be the most dramatic regeneration project that the capital has seen for some time. Roll over Olympic Park, you ain’t seen nothing yet.
More than 20 developments will turn 195 hectares of brownfield land along the River Thames at Nine Elms into parks, homes, and shopping areas. The roll call of schemes involved in the regeneration is breathtaking: a £8 billion revamp of Battersea Power Station is due to start in the middle of next year; a clutch of new skyscrapers is planned, including One Nine Elms, which will be western Europe’s tallest residential tower; a new US Embassy (in the shape of a cuboid) is set to open in 2017, and two new underground stations have been proposed for Nine Elms and Battersea. Around 16,000 new homes are expected to be built, as well as an inspiring-sounding proposal for a linear park parallel to the river. Let’s hope the new scheme does better than its neighbour, the nearby St George Wharf, voted the worst building in the world by the Architects’ Journal panel of architects not once, but twice. Rebecca Taylor