MVRDV’s artificial hill rises at Marble Arch in London

by | Jul 23, 2021 | Featured Slider, Latest, News

The Marble Arch Mound, a viewpoint disguised as a hill designed by Dutch studio MVRDV, has been photographed rising alongside Hyde Park in London.

Rising 25 metres tall, the artificial hill is currently under construction alongside Marble Arch near the Oxford Street shopping district in central London.

The Marble Arch Hill
The Marble Arch Mound is under construction in central London

The viewpoint and visitor attraction was commissioned by Westminster City Council as an attraction to draw people back to Oxford Street following the easing of coronavirus restrictions.

When complete, visitors will be able to climb up a staircase built into the artificial hill to see views across central London and down at Marble Arch – the triumphal arch designed by architect John Nash.

The staircase, which can be seen in the construction shots, will lead up the southern face of the hill, with visitors descending into an event space inside the structure.

Scaffolding structure of the viewpoint in London
The structure is built from scaffolding

Recently taken photographs show the scaffolding-pole structure of the hill largely complete.

This structure is in the process of being covered with turf and trees to create the appearance of a natural hill.

Hill viewpoint in London
It will be covered in turf with occasional trees

According to the studio, the viewpoint’s form was designed as a nod to the history of the site, which was once part of the adjacent Hyde Park.

“This project is a wonderful opportunity to give an impulse to a highly recognisable location in London,” explained MVRDV founding partner Winy Maas when the project was unveiled in February.Related storyMVRDV’s proposed 2004 Serpentine Gallery Pavilion was “a heroic failure”

“By adding this landscape element, we make a comment on the urban layout of the Marble Arch, and by looking to the site’s history, we make a comment on the area’s future,” he continued.

“Can this temporary addition help inspire the city to undo the mistakes of the 1960s, and repair that connection?”

The Marble Arch Hill staircase
A staircase will go up the southern face of the hill

The temporary viewpoint is set to open on 26 July and will be in place until January 2022.

It was designed using standard scaffolding poles so that it can be easily dismantled. The soil and plants will be reused in the nearby parks.

Marble Arch Hill by MVRDV
Visualisation of how the Marble Arch Mound will appear when complete

Rotterdam-based MVRDV was established in 1991 by Maas, Jacob van Rijs and Nathalie de Vries. In 2016 the studio used scaffolding for the temporary Stairs to Kriterion installation in Rotterdam.

The Marble Arch Hill will resemble MVRDV’s unbuilt 2004 Serpentine Pavilion, which would have been built in the nearby park. This year’s Counterspace-designed Serpentine Pavilion was recently unveiled.

This article first appeared on DeZeen, and was written by Tom Ravenscroft 


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