Part of complete coverage on
'Mushroom garden' offers tunnel vision for a greener London
updated 8:19 AM EDT, Thu October 18, 2012
An idea to create a mushroom garden in a disused rail tunnel beneath London's Oxford Street has won a competition inspired by New York's High Line -- the elevated park which utilizes old railroad line to create green public spaces. The vision for a mushroom farm combined with a pedestrian walkway came out on top of 170 entries proposing new green spaces for the UK capital.
'Pop Down' by Fletcher Priest Architects
The Lido Line by [Y/N] Studio
High, Low, Fast and Fluid Lines
Lea Valley Rain Farm
Green Lung Retrofit
The New River
London Parks Library
Suburban Kiss by Ireland Albrecht
- Proposal to build mushroom garden in disused tunnel wins "High Line for London" competition
- Idea suggests use of tunnel under Oxford Street and would double as a pedestrian walkway
- Competition inspired by New York's High Line with co-creators of the elevated park on the judging panel
(CNN) -- London's abandoned rail and tube lines have been put to many novel uses down the years functioning as bomb shelters, impromptu party venues and film sets for Hollywood movies.
But a new idea to create a mushroom garden in a tunnel beneath Oxford Street is perhaps one of the more unconventional attempts to breathe new life into the UK capital's forgotten subterranean murk.
"Pop Down" imagines a section of the defunct "Mail Rail" tunnel -- a narrow gauge railway used for transporting mail around London which closed in 2003 -- being repurposed as a mushroom farm and pedestrian walkway lit at street level by glass-fiber, mushroom-shaped sculptures.
Its creators, London-based Fletcher Priest Architects, say underground tunnels provide the ideal environment for an urban mushroom farm and could supply pop-up "Funghi" cafes at the tunnel's entrance and exit.
"The response to this competition shows how many ideas are just waiting to happen, on, over or under the streets of London
The idea was recently awarded the top prize in the "High Line for London" competition run by the UK's Landscape Institute in partnership with the Mayor of London and the Garden Museum.
The competition, which attracted 170 submissions, was inspired by New York's High Line -- a derelict section of elevated railroad which has been transformed into a park -- with co-founders Joshua David and Robert Hammond joining the judging panel.
"The response to this competition shows how many ideas are just waiting to happen, on, over or under the streets of London," Hammond said in a statement.
Runner-up in the competition was "The Lido Line" by [Y/N] Studio which proposes turning a section of the Regent's Canal running from Little Venice to Limehouse into a public swimming area.
Other entries were also highly commended including an idea for a floating park/farm/wetland near Canary Wharf called "Barge Walk" and "Bridge-It" which envisions building parks over, under and besides existing railway lines.
"During this Olympic summer it was clear that London's public spaces are coming alive as never before. There is now a popular appetite for making our outdoors more useable and more wonderful," Penelope Curtis, director of Tate Britain said in a statement.
Shortlisted submissions will be on show at the Garden Museum until October 21.
Part of complete coverage on
updated 9:30 PM EST, Sun January 20, 2013
Patricia Wu looks at efforts to combat food waste in Hong Kong.
updated 9:33 PM EST, Sun January 13, 2013
CNN's Pauline Chiou goes to Hong Kong's annual toy fair to find out about the growing market for eco-friendly toys.
updated 11:15 PM EST, Sun December 30, 2012
CNN's Liz Neisloss reports on a roof that is only a sample of the greening of Singapore's skyline.
updated 9:16 PM EST, Tue December 18, 2012
A dam project in Cambodia could destroy livelihoods and ecosystems, says Conservation International
updated 10:22 PM EST, Mon December 17, 2012
Shipping lines, port authorities and technology companies are taking the initiative to go green and reduce costs.
updated 9:06 PM EST, Sun December 9, 2012
Less than 20 miles from Singapore's skyscrapers is a completely different set of high-rise towers.
updated 6:04 AM EST, Thu December 6, 2012
The Pitcairn Islands might only have 55 human inhabitants, but the waters surrounding them are teeming with marine life.
updated 10:22 PM EST, Sun December 2, 2012
Biofuel made from sugar cane waste in Brazil could revolutionize the global energy industry.
updated 9:58 PM EST, Sun November 25, 2012
Many believe that fuel-cell cars will overtake electric vehicles in the near future.
updated 3:20 AM EST, Mon November 19, 2012
Modern and sustainable buildings in the UAE are taking cues from an ancient Arabic design tradition.
updated 11:09 PM EST, Sun November 11, 2012
One man's artistic vision is distracting divers from Cancun's threatened underwater ecosystem.
updated 12:46 PM EST, Mon November 12, 2012
Lake Victoria, Africa's largest lake, has been plagued by water hyacinth plants for over two decades.
Just how much are natural wonders like the Great Barrier Reef worth in monetary terms?