Architecture firm NBBJ has released a concept for a series of natural, flower shaped ice rinks on the River Thames.
Retractable jetties would extent into large discs, slightly submerged below water. The discs would then isolate this water from the river and allow it to naturally freeze, allowing Londoners to skate on them.
Ice-skating on the Thames has historical precedence; until the 1830s, Londoners could skate on areas of the river during colder winter months.London Bridge originally limited the flow of the Thames and it was often frozen over for much of the winter. The subsequent ‘Frost Fair’ was an annual celebration.
NBBJ describe its ‘Frost Flowers’ concept as “part of an ongoing exploration into city life and how it can be improved, adapted and potentially evolved”.
“In a dense, modern city such as London, the Thames provides a unique open vista where the history and origins of this great city can be viewed,” said Christian Coop, design director at NBBJ. “New space is now desperately needed, and accordingly we looked to our heritage to find one possible solution”.
NBBJ’s previous concepts have included a shadowless skyscraper and giant underground travelators that would let commuters walk to work rather than taking the Tube.