Zandra Rhodes and Joe Swift transform theatre park

A celebrity creative collaboration bringing together the worlds of fashion and garden design has transformed a theatre in London Bridge into an "urban oasis".

British fashion designer Dame Zandra Rhodes teamed up with garden designer and TV presenter Joe Swift to create a linear ‘pocket park’ at the Greenwood Theatre on Weston Street, London Bridge, in SE1.

Project organisers Cityscapes and Team London Bridge joined forces with King’s College London, Network Rail, The Mayor’s Pocket Parks Programme and Southwark Council for the project.

The Greenwood Theatre park now has trees, shrubs, perennials and bulbs. Newly painted facades of the building are in Zandra Rhodes shades of orange, pink and blue.

The creation of the pocket park highlights Cityscapes mission to bring creative cross-disciplinary innovative approaches to designing public parks and gardens, says Cityscapes.

It also makes good Team London Bridge's promise to create better quality, more sustainable public spaces, a vision shared by The Mayor’s Pocket Parks Programme which has supported a new and enhanced pocket parks across London.

Previous projects include Gibbon's Rent, a Cityscapes and Team London Bridge project from 2012, designed by Sarah Eberle and Andrew Burns.

Rhodes said: "The London Bridge area is becoming very vibrant and exciting. With many people moving into here to live and many more walking through to the restaurants and station, it is essential to both green and liven-up all the ‘dead’ areas so that it becomes a pleasure to pass through, regardless of the weather.

"The Greenwood Theatre has been a large brick eyesore for many years, so when I was approached to work with Joe and enliven this space I jumped at the chance! I felt we needed colour to spread "sunshine" into the area, and the plants to make it a fabulous place to sit and linger in. It really is a lovely exciting project.

Swift said:  "The creation of the Greenwood Theatre Pocket Park proves the value of cross-disciplinary design in creating highly engaging and usable green urban spaces from previously neglected city sites."

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