The Arches Project | fletcherpriest
The Arches Project  Transport for London

The Arches Project reinvents the spaces beneath London’s elevated railway tracks. It is simultaneously our largest and smallest public realm commission. It requires design thinking from the scale of the city to the detail of historic hand-laid, brick structures.

We have worked with TfL since 2014 to explore the potential of more than 800 arches they own across the city beneath the 19th century elevated railway tracks that weave between active town centres and quiet back-land areas. The arches have the potential to connect high and low value land and – where permeability is possible – to allow transverse connections where previously they created a barrier to movement.

The first projects are coming forward as discrete planning applications within the strategic framework: 31 disused arches at Wood Lane will be opened up to create public connections between major sites that are under development but are divided by the tracks. The spaces will be given back to the public realm, and transformed into retail and small business units. In Hackney, five arches will be transformed into business and retail units, opening onto new public spaces to improve a neglected part of Kingsland Road.

These projects combine interior design with public realm and landscaping – an exemplification of our ability to design at contrasting scales.