The Side Line

Shared surface – acid grasslands with hedgerows. A sliver of Murphy's Headquarters would be transformed from brownfield heat-sink to a viable heath extension, with 80m of species-rich hedgerow. An exisiting nature reserve would be protected and a new 'forage' landscape created.

Even with the planned HS2 route between Kings Cross and Euston, there would still be room for nature in the sidings and links to Regent's Canal.

Green zebra – a new type of crossing for London would give wildlife and pedestrians precedence over traffic. Tarmace would be replaced with bonded porous surfaces flanked by tiny rain gardens.

Canopy – by drawing the pavement over the platform, trees would grow up and through it, giving people the choice of sunlit walk or sheltered stroll below past ferns and lily of the valley. 

At clearings, tall flank walls should be green, with boxes for birds and bats. The high street would be porous and perforated as it runs along the route where the River Fleet once did. The railway cutting would connect to the pavement, while new views of the Heath would prompt people tp take a walk, a run or a ride.

Boardwalk – while sturdy Victorian engineering provides structural support to the boardwalk, the trackside below a thriving meadow with beehives.

Concrete lacuna above the tracks would make a strong surface with opportunities for planting and water, including stocked ponds for fishing (Japanese style), alongside ponds as nature reserves. Meadows for fritillaries and vetch would invite quiet contemplation.

Add your comment

Please note:

  • Comments will not appear on this page until they have been approved by the administrator.
  • Comments are restricted to 500 characters.

Name (Required)

Email (Required - will not be shown)

Copy the code into the box below


The Side Line

Encourage biodiversity into the heart of the capital through epiphytic urbanism

The inspiration for 51% Studios proposal comes from epiphyte organisms. An epiphyte is a plant that grows upon another plant (such as a tree) non parasitically or sometimes another object (such as a building or telegraph wire), typically deriving only physical support from their host. 

The Studios' Side Line shows how London could be a better place to work, live and visit, by actively encouraging biodiversity into the heart of the capital. This would be done by connecting existing fragmented ‘habitat islands’ into a continuous auxiliary network for the benefit of wildlife. 

The Side Line would revitalise the city using both working and abandoned infrastructure to create a linear park linking the new quarter at Kings Cross to Regent's Park and Hampstead Heath.

By introducing nine site-specific architectures for the National Rail Network, new habitats would be formed, such as a woodland above a station platform, a clearing on a crossroads and fields along the proposed route of HS2. 

The River Fleet, once known as the River of Wells, would be celebrated again for its clean and health-giving waters as it meanders to King Cross. 


- Bio-diversity
- Connectivity across the capital
- Creating new parks
- Lost rivers of London
- Transport



Submitted by

51% Studios

Go back to projects

Landscape Institute


© Landscape Institute. Registered in England and Wales as Charity Number 1073396.