Welcoming wildlife back to Exhibition Road

Explore three new green interventions on Exhibition Road as we discuss rewilding, urban green space design and architecture’s role in connecting people with nature and the threats it faces.

As lockdown restrictions ease, those returning to the museums and attractions of Exhibition Road saw the popular science and art district transformed by some new residents. Three ‘green interventions’ constructed along the road were the winning entries in the South Ken Outdoor Trail design competition. Each was developed in partnership with one of three cultural partner institutions – the V&A, Science Museum and Goethe-Institut, and aimed to create habitats to support biodiversity, welcoming wildlife back to South Kensington at the same time as people return.

  • Mizzi Studio’s ‘nest like ‘hive’ structure aims to support discovery, ecology and biodiversity whilst providing a space where insects and people to enjoy each other’s company in harmony.
  • The collaboration between Urban Radicals’s Nasios Varnavas and Era Savvides, urban rewilding architect Adam Harris and the Goethe Institute brought native pollinator friendly wildflowers into nearby Princess Gardens.
  • Seyi Adelekun and Wayward’s ‘Algae Meadow’ connects the social and architectural ecology of Exhibition Road to the sub-aqua biome of Serpentine Lake in Hyde Park, highlighting the important ecosystem between land and water, A productive algae factory, the products of this piece acts as biofertilizer for a wildflower hydroponic meadow.

At this panel discussion, Imperial’s Dr Neil Jennings, Partnership Development Manager at the Grantham Institute for Climate Change and the Environment, will host a discussion with two of the project leads. Together they will explore the thinking behind each intervention and the responsibility each panellist feels as designers and architecture of our urban environments, to maintain the public’s connection with the natural world.

The South Ken Outdoor Trail project is being delivered by Discover South Kensington in partnership with the London Festival of Architecture, and is supported by the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 and the Kensington and Chelsea Council.