Walk 3. I’m on a mission to see another set of buildings I noted during a taxi ride (from Heathrow to The Shard from a few days back). After working on the Apple Maps iOS 15 map metros redesign, I knew right where we were when I spotted the behemoth Battersea Power Station and that led me to an eastern part of the south bank that I had not taken much note of before.
I got off at Nine Elms- the best non-transfer transit stop to get off from the Whitehall area I was staying in. I had to wait until the late afternoon as this walk was on the Monday of the Queen’s funeral procession. It was still quite a mess with security when I left the hotel. Almost immediately out of the tube station (very very new), I couldn’t believe the extent of new construction happening in this part of town.
Parallel to Nine Elms Lane are a series of walkways along the river. I stopped at this very cute coffee shop Black Cab Coffee Co which is located next to a series of pointy pill section shaped buildings that I found hard to photograph but were on my list. But along Nine Elms Lane itself, just an onslaught of new building rising, one after another. In the distance you’ll see the building that was really a surprise- the U.S. Embassy which has its own deserving post.
Wandering around the U.S. Embassy, I came into the, as I learned thereafter, Embassy Gardens community space. London does such a great job, the Pancras area has a similar one, in its urban planning efforts to create outdoor areas for people to share- with excellent landscaping of course.
Not shy of a good cantilever, this building looks to create an elevated green space for residents to share.
Of all the areas that I visited on this trip to London in Sept 2022, this walk stands out in my mind because its a true snapshot of a city being built. Creating so much new construction in a decade will create for future generations a view into much of the thinking of this time- what ideas did people have? where did they put their energy? what experiences will residents have that are shaped by this space they live in?
It felt like a very special opportunity to capture these moments. It gave me a sense that great things can happen- that its important to have faith that change can happen at mass scale. Speaking of which, the Battersea Power Station investment is nothing less than mind boggling. I end this walk passing through that area and wrapping up at Battersea Park.