Hillside attraction lets tourists see London from a different perspective
Visitors to London's Marble Arch will soon be able to see the area from a whole new perspective thanks to an unusual project by MVRDV. The firm plans to install a hollow hill-like structure in the UK capital in the coming months.
The aptly-named Marble Arch Hill was commissioned by Westminster City Council to promote interest in the area following the slump seen in most major cities due to COVID-19 lockdown measures. The design draws inspiration from the history of the local area, as well as the firm's unrealized 2004 Serpentine Pavilion proposal and completed Stairs to Kriterion installation.
"MVRDV's proposal for this installation takes inspiration from the history of the site," explains the firm's press release. "Marble Arch once marked the corner of Hyde Park, but in the 1960s new roads were added that turned the arch into a traffic island, disconnected from the rest of the park. MVRDV's design introduces a park-like landscape of grass and trees, and 'lifts' this recreated corner of Hyde Park to create a spectacular 25-m [82 ft]-tall viewpoint that gives visitors an overview of Oxford Street and the park, and a new perspective on Marble Arch itself."
Visitors will be able to travel up to a viewpoint at the maximum height of 25 m (82 ft) using a winding wooden pathway up the hill's southern slope. Once they've taken in the sights, they will then be able to descend into a hall in the heart of the hill that will be used for events and exhibitions.
The temporary installation will consist of a large scaffolding structure that will be topped by layers of wood, soil, grass, and trees. All of this will then be reused in nearby gardens and parks once it's eventually disassembled.
The project is slated to open in July 2021, with the closing date still to be determined. According to the Evening Standard, only 25 people at a time will be allowed to visit the Marble Arch Hill and they may have to pay a "nominal" fee to access it and book in advance.