MVRDV today reveals “Marble Arch Hill”, a temporary installation next to London’s Marble Arch that will add a new attraction to the area beginning in July this year. A hollowed-out mountain based on a scaffolding structure, Marble Arch Hill will redefine the connection between Oxford Street and Hyde Park while giving visitors rare views over the park and Marble Arch.
MVRDV’s proposal for this installation takes inspiration from the history of the site. 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-metre-tall viewpoint.
Marble Arch Hill will be experienced via a single continuous route. Visitors will climb to the viewpoint via a path that winds its way up the hill’s southern slope, after which they will descend into a great Hall in the heart of the hill, a hollowed-out space that will be used for events, exhibitions, and other happenings. The exit from the Hall is located in a notch in the corner of the hill that ensures the temporary structure is offset from Marble Arch.
In this way, visitors are confronted with multiple views on the arch, giving them a new perspective on an object they might otherwise take for granted. We enlarge the park and lift it at the corner. Marble Arch Hill strengthens the connection between Oxford Street and the park via the Marble Arch.
Marble Arch Hill uses a scaffold structure on its base, which will support the plywood and soil layers needed for the grass upper layer to grow. At strategic points, the structure is adapted to hold large planters that will be home to trees. Sustainability is an important consideration in the design of Marble Arch Hill.
As a temporary structure, it is critical to ensure that it produces as little waste as possible when it is removed. Therefore the design is created with the reuse of elements in mind. The scaffolding structure can of course be disassembled and reused, while the elements that make up its top layer – wood, soil, grass, and trees – will all find new uses in nearby gardens and parks. Source by MVRDV.
- Location: London, United Kingdom
- Architect: MVRDV
- Founding Partner in charge: Winy Maas
- Director: Gideon Maasland
- Design Team: Gijs Rikken, Sanne van Manen, Joanna Wirkus, Paulina Kurowska Visualisations: Antonio Luca Coco, Angelo La Delfa, Luana La Martina
- Client: Westminster City Council
- Year: 2021
- Images: Courtesy of MVRDV