Martin Ebert Design Architecture

Forgotten Spaces: Berm-On-Sea

RIBA Forgotten Spaces Competition

May 2011

Until the mid 20th century, the Thames was the main artery supplying goods into the heart of central London. Besides this commercial function, the Thames also provided an important recreational facility. People used to swim in the Thames and sunbathe along its shores.

Today, much of this direct relationship with the Thames is lost.

St Saviour’s Dock in Bermondsey exemplifies this lost relationship between the city and its river. St Saviour’s is one of the last remaining tidal docks in Central London, and it is completely unused.

With the Thames and the Dock’s commercial purpose now lost, the starting point for this proposal was to re-establish direct access to the Dock and the Thames for recreation. The project proposes to capitalise on the Dock’s length and to create a long sloping beach, complete with dunes, beach huts and a tidal pool - a mixture of elements evoking the charm of Victorian seaside resorts such as Broadstairs or Aldeburgh.

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St Saviour's Dock entrance
St Saviour's Dock entrance
Dock at low tide
Dock at low tide
Dock junction with Thames
Dock junction with Thames
View towards Thames
View towards Thames
Proposed tidal pool
Proposed tidal pool
Current dock end
Current dock end
Proposed beach with huts
Proposed beach with huts
Site plan
Site plan
Section
Section