Sarah Cowles named finalist in London Thames Gateway Public Art Competition

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Image by Brian Holland

Sarah Cowles, assistant professor of Landscape Architecture was recently named a finalist in the “Wallis Road Park to Park” public art competition. Wallis Road is the “Park to Park” link across Hackney Wick that connects Victoria Park in London, England, with the Olympic Park across the divide of the A12 and the Lea Navigation canal.

The project, entitled “Parallel Ruderals” refers to plant species that colonize and thrive in urban, war-damaged, or postindustrial environments otherwise considered hostile to life. Along with the plant life, the Hackney Wick area of East London has long been in transition from the original home of major London industries to burgeoning creative communities and sites of urban transportation infrastructure.

The goal of the proposal was to re-frame the social, ecological and physical elements of a precarious place to create experiences that encouraged an understanding of the conditions today and possibilities tomorrow for the “Park to Park” connection along Wallis Road. The proposal included a series of street-level landscape works to enhance pedestrian experience, a boat-house along the canal as a site for a series of public discussions about current and historic conditions of the area.  Team members included James Voorhies of Bureau for Open Culture, former LeFevre Fellow Brian Holland, and Steven Badgett of Simparch.