Bernie Spain Gardens Design Competition – open view

8 March 2018

Written by: Coin Street Community Builders

Better Lambeth - Environment - Focus on Waterloo

The local community and garden users are invited to view and comment on proposals from award-winning designers for a planned upgrade to a well-loved garden on the Thames riverside.

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Bernie Spain Gardens Design Competition – open view

Five landscape architects have been shortlisted in a design competition for a project to update the north part of Waterloo’s Bernie Spain Gardens. The gardens have not had a major upgrade in the 30 years since they were created.

Word from the Cabinet

Cllr Sonia Winifred, Cabinet Member for Equalities and Culture, said:  “The design competition will help breathe new life into a much-loved public space. I’d encourage anyone who uses Bernie Spain Gardens to pop along to the public exhibition so you can feedback your views on the five designs to the competition organisers”

A visible asset

“The South Bank riverside walkway and the two parks adjacent to it, Bernie Spain Gardens and Jubilee Gardens , together form one of London’s and Lambeth’s most popular areas of public realm”, explains Louise King of Coin Street Community Builders. “Bernie Spain Gardens are enjoyed by residents, workers and hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. All those people are growing in number, as more people are attracted to the area, and we want to be able to give them the best garden possible.”

Citizens’ panel

The competition is run by the social enterprise owner and manager of the gardens, Coin Street Community Builders (CSCB) and organised by Ted Inman (chair of Jubilee Gardens Trust). The selection panel is chaired by Paul Finch, programme director at World Architecture. Lambeth Council’s Sue Foster (Strategic Director, Neighbourhoods and Growth) is on the judging panel. Other panel members are CSCB board members, who live locally, and senior staff.

Presentation and feedback

The designers will present their proposals at a free walk-in public meeting from 7pm to 9pm on 15 March followed by an open exhibition on 16 and 17 March where users of the gardens and others will be able to feed back their views on the designs. You can also see the plans and give your opinions online.  The panel will select a winner to be announced in April followed by development of the selected design, planning application and fundraising activity.


For more information

Bernie Spain Gardens is between Stamford Street, London SE1, and the River Thames on London’s South Bank. It’s named after Bernadette Spain, a local campaigner on health and housing in the 1970s.  The South area of the garden is also having a mini makeover (not part of the competition) and is home to food growing projects and community gardening. Further information on the gardening sessions available from Laura Reynolds on or call 020 7021 1600

The designers

For examples of projects delivered by the 5 landscape architects see their information and news pages: