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Architectural Spotlight

The 'Living Bridge' Over the Thames

(c) Antoine Grumbach

Would you buy property on a bridge? The city of London is examining the idea of building a new crossing to the east of Tower Bridge, which is not to be confused with London Bridge which was at one point a habitable bridge.

The idea of building a habitable bridge over the River Thames is not a new idea, the plans were originally drawn up back in the nineties, however after the Labour government came into power in 1997 the planes for this bridge were dropped. However the current mayor of London, Boris Johnson is giving the project another look. The mayor has been saying for a while now that the city needs another crossing east of the tower bridge and the habitable bridge proposal is under consideration as a link between Greenwich and Silvertown in the Royal Docks.  Part of what what is giving this proposal a more serious look is that the £80 million price tag for the bridge could theoretically be recouped from the sale of properties located on it. The original design had the bridge suspended from a pair of 35 story towers on the north side that would combine flats and residential properties.

If the bridge is built it would be the first time in 178 years that a bridge with residential and commercial properties existed in the city. The last being London Bridge before its buildings were leveled to reduce congestion on the crossing.

Engraving of London Bridge Circa 1616 by Claes Van Visscher

Would you buy property on a bridge? I have to admit its a novel idea and there is no doubt that the view would be stellar. Not to mention that you wouldn’t have to worry about another condo development springing up in front to steal your view. I think that that only thing that might concern me would be if someone else came along and decided that the properties needed to go for the sake of reducing congestion, though with this design, seeing as the apartments are in the support structure that is a little less likely. When it comes to development the sale of properties is pretty much a sure fire way to raise capital and I have no doubt that apartements in a location like this would have a pretty hefty premium for the wow factor so they might just be on to something.

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Photos on flickr

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