Architect, designers and engineers mingled with local people in Lyric Square on Saturday, June 23 to talk about the future of Hammersmith's infamous flyover.
The event, which was part of the London Festival of Architecture was aimed at encouraging local people to consider alternatives for the A4, including a tunnel – dubbed the Hammersmith flyunder.
The approach to the flyover today
As we all know, the flyover is nearing the end of its life, with frequent closures required for maintenance.
At the event, experts gathered to discuss and listen to the public's views on this proposal, collating sketches and ideas. The team included Assael, Powell Tuck Associates, Hugh Broughton Architects, Paul Murphy Architects, Allford Hall Monaghan Morris, Halcrow, the Royal Academy of Arts, New London Architecture, the Royal Institute of British Architects and London Met. The ideas are being collated to be presented to the Council, the July 5, 2012y study with the right support.
They say that removing the flyover would create many opportunities, including opening up views towards St Paul's Church and the Thames; an increase in sunlight and daylight into central Hammersmith; a reduction in pollution and noise; the creation of more green space; and stitching back the historic urban grain.
The same scene showing the approach to a future "flyunder"
Russell Pedley, director at architectural practice Assael was one of the experts present. He says: "With the Hammersmith flyover getting to end of its life, we need to seize this opportunity and find a way to connect Hammersmith back to its waterfront. The discussions at the weekend have generated the enthusiasm and the vision, and explored practical solutions.
" Creating a ‘Hammersmith Riviera’ would not only improve values, but could generate further development opportunities on land freed up by sinking a section of the A4 in a tunnel - ‘the fly-under’. We now need to explore how much development would be needed to make this a viable proposition and, if it isn’t, what the funding gap is.
"There are obvious benefits to the local community from more public realm and better places to live, work and play, so the next step is to find a way to make it happen."
Councillor Nick Botterill, Leader of Hammersmith and Fulham Council and Cabinet Member for Environment, has said about the flyover: " TfL must realise that we cannot simply accept patch-jobs to prolong the life of this monstrous outdated and crumbling structure – we must continue to push for an alternative solution, and that is a tunnel.
"We want to work closely with TfL to put local people and organisations at the heart of the decision making process to create a better transport system for Hammersmith."
The A4 was constructed in 1961 and has had a major impact on Chiswick and Hammersmith. It closed in January 2012 for repair, prompting much needed discussion on its future, and is now open again. Experts suggest it has only 15 years left of its life.
July 5, 2012