Dutch architects to create Marble Arch Hill in London

A 25 metre tall 'mountain' will emerge next to London's Marble Arch this summer. The green hill, with space underneath it to host events, is a temporary structure designed by Dutch architecture firm MVRDV. The project has been commissioned by Westminster City Council to attract crowds back to London's retail heart: the Oxford Street area.

Marble Arch Hill
©MVRDV
Marble Arch Hill will redefine the connection between Oxford Street and Hyde Park while giving visitors rare views over the park and Marble Arch.

Spectacular 25-metre-tall viewpoint

MVRDV’s proposal for this installation takes inspiration from the history of the site, the firm's press release reads. 'Marble Arch once marked the corner of Hyde Park, but in the 1960s new roads were added that turned the arch into a traffic island, disconnected from the rest of the park. MVRDV’s design introduces a park-like landscape of grass and trees, and ‘lifts’ this recreated corner of Hyde Park to create a spectacular 25-metre-tall viewpoint that gives visitors an overview of Oxford Street and the park, and a new perspective on Marble Arch itself.'

Design draws on earlier plans for a 'Dutch mountain' in London

The design draws from two separate lineages of MVRDV’s work: the 2016 Stairs to Kriterion installation in Rotterdam, also build as a temporary scaffold-based structure, and an earlier proposal to create a 'mountain' for the Serpentine Pavilion in 2004. The Serpentine Pavilion's mountain was never materialised; with the Marble Arch Hill, this ambitious idea will finally come to life.

Sustainable, circular design

The 'Dutch mountain' is designed in a way that allows reuse of the materials that are required to build it. The scaffolding structure can of course be reused, and the soil and plants that form the top layer of the structure will also all get a new life, mostly in gardens and parks nearby. The hill is likely to be part of London’s busiest shopping area for at least six months.