River Thames Contain-a-Garden

How the Thames Embankment could look if shipping containers were used to create riverside gardens. 

Today, the Thames is flanked by miles of grey stone embankment largely unrelieved by planting or green space.

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River Thames Contain-a-Garden

Use shipping containers to create a garden by the Thames

Contain-a-Garden proposes creating a series of riverside green spaces made from disused shipping containers along the River Thames Embankment.

There are miles of grey stone river embankment in London that stand largely unrelieved by any planting or green space and this proposal explores the potential for a riverside garden all the way from Hammersmith to the Docklands.

Shipping containers aka ISBUs (Intermodal Steel Building Units), which are typically 20’ or 40' long and 8' wide by 8 or 9' high, could be the perfect module to fit neatly along the Thames Embankment. Redundant shipping containers exist at all port cities and are the strongest modular structures in the world. Prior to re-use they are typically sprayed with non-toxic eco-green ceramic insulation paint, which seals the containers, making them pollutant free in water. 

Having been transported downriver by barge, the containers would be unloaded onto the Thames foreshore and filled with Crossrail excavated topsoil, before being set in place. The containers’ modular structure makes them ideal vehicles for pop-up green spaces that could potentially provides sites for planting and wildlife habitats the length of the Thames.



- Creating new parks
- River Thames


City of London

Submitted by

Ali Paterson


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