NLA Sky Walk by Carmody Groarke 2



Here are some photographs of NLA Sky Walk by architects Carmody Groarke, built in Montague Place, London, as part of the London Festival of Architecture.


The 160m raised walkway was in place 4-6 July.


Photographs by Luke Hayes.


See our previous story for further information.





Posted on Tuesday July 8th 2008 at 5:37 pm by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • Roxanne

    Top Five Reasons Why the FLA Should Not Happen Again

    1. FLA’s director is quoted saying “Outside of art and architecture, people don’t EVEN know how to PRONOUNCE biennale, let alone know WHAT IT MEANS”. This paternalism is at least 50 years out of date!

    2. It is without peer in terms of waste – money, time and intellectual pursuit. The events to date have been inane and often pathetic and only indulgent.

    3. Its reliance on the upper middle class as an audience is too small for both the public funds and private funds it has attracted. Architecture is a very small world as they are now starting to register. This event has generated no new audiences – in-efficent for public money and in-effective in generating new customers from the private sector.

    4. It holds up a mirror to the lack of critical approach to architecture and urbanism from its organisers. The festival is not generating any new or critical knowledge. Its really just one big marketing campaign for indulgence.

    5. Its bloody expensive! £25 for a greasy spoon breakfast with some talking head! As a result almost no-one is going to the events and the financial model will collapse.


  • Peter

    looks like a few people turned up to sit on the grass and watch people on a stage. think i have seen that happen before, somewhere….sometime?

  • Tyler

    yeah, another fancy chinese wall :D


    More expensive, nutrient rich, water intensive turf thrown away at the end of an event that last for two days? Fresh thinking.

  • edward

    Was it handicapped accessible? Just kidding. I think it looks pretty good and inviting. Perhaps we will have some comments by those who actually experienced it.

  • collyn

    Funny how it seems someone has copied and pasted the same ‘5 reasons’ for every recent post on the LFA. At least there are some people in London who are indeed being creative and saying something new; if not always new, at least interesting. And perhaps it is that which the LFA is celebrating, among many other things.

    Then: ‘without peer’ … hmm, one can think of many things, indeed most professional sports, shopping malls, ‘entertainment complexes’ etc which would prove quite the rival. At least the LFA aims to bring people together through creativity, however many or few people it might be.

    CG have done a wonderful job, and it’s precisely the temporary folly which allows for experimentation – to test the possibilities for architecture. The LFA, is, perhaps, the R&D department for the entire industry. Especially for young architects, it provides the opportunity to gain visibility, press, and give something back to the community… whether winey roxanne agrees or not…

  • joseph

    shame it was a wall of black… missed opportunity?

  • Roy

    Somehow I think that the sod was probably reused somewhere else. I would have loved to walk above and below, winding in and out. Looked inviting.

  • luis miguel

    me gusto, ojala publiquen más proyectos de esta oficina.

  • Rockstar

    fingers crossed that this is only a temporary installation…

  • monsieur!

    i went to the opening party thing
    it was a great party, lots of free booze and roast hogs (is it me or do architects have a thing for roast hogs?)
    and the sky walk thing is fine -i thought the turf on the floor was fun etc
    but the lfa’s a waste of time – no one cares about architecture
    and in reality architecture has nothing to say about the world
    it was private invite only -and involved a bunch of wanky looking designers drinking champagne and expensive beer, while members of the public walked past and gawped, and then went on to the skywalk – it seemed to primarily get a better view on what they were missing out on
    i found the whole thing hilarious – the irony of the situation was astounding
    a ‘festival’ to get people engaged – which mostly consists of architects going to private parties

    what a joke

  • monsieur!

    but then again – architects don’t get paid much – i think all the champagne and hog-roast is just an arcane form of government subsidy

  • Ross von Ruben

    politics aside. The walkway has awesome potential to revitalise South African inner city green zones. We have beautiful green zones within our cities and I feel this style of walk way would offer a new perspective within them and meybe generate a small rebirth.

    nothing involing creativity is ever a lost.

  • unpopular

    another thing with randomn, arbitrary angles. 20 years from now this will seem just as lame as a michael graves doodah from the 80’s..

  • monsieur!

    south africa?
    has the skywalk been shipped there?
    how do you plan to revitalise inner city green zones with it?

  • Paul, Yorkshire

    Dull, VERY dull

  • Fling

    Things I enjoyed on my trip to the festival of the arkytecks-

    the Terribly Important People corral
    the smatter of Arkytecks drinking Mickolob thro anus like mouths
    the little pot stands upon which they were placed in casual groups to share creative tension
    the skywalk which made me giddy though, the downhill bits prone to induce nosebleed and general nausea.

    Hurrah! A victory for creative tension peals through the subtterranean runnels of this great city.

  • Paul W

    I went. Not sure if the point was the design of the walkway or that it was somehow giving you a better view of the British Museum and other buildings around it. On both counts it wasn’t that impressive, especially next to the BM’s amazing courtyard (

  • Jon

    In reply to Monsieur’s moronic statement, ‘no one cares about architecture
    and in reality architecture has nothing to say about the world.’
    Erm, I care. There’s one for starters. And as for architecture having nothing to say about the world – it has the potential to say quite a lot and depends upon the skill of the architect as well as the experience between building and individual. You can’t dismiss an entire artform just because of your reverse snobbery.
    Anyway, are you saying opening parties of this ilk should be open to all and sundry? It’s not the party organisers’ responsibility to change the democraphic of architects – surely that’s a broader societal thing?

  • Mrs Fox

    No interchanges involing the delightful neologism involing will ever be a waste….
    PS the walkway was good. Everyone enjoyed walking on it, anyhow, which is an answer in itself.


    Thing is, these ‘follys’ make us architects look like fools! We are already so badly misunderstood!

    BTW architecture ought not be considered as art, art can go on walls and be ignored. It is important, art, but not critical. Architecture really ought to be considered as a social work, as a social service- it is where people live, work, pray – this is not just important – but critical.

    I do agree, such an event does seem an awful waste of money and resources.

    And yes an event in a public space should NOT be private! Gosh that makes me angry when I think of the Festival of London Architecture stated aims – what a load of …. it all seems now. It all seems back to front and upside down to me!

  • Peter.G

    Was it wheelchair accessible?

  • El Greco

    A black pedestrian overpass… AWESOME!

  • monsieur!

    yeh it was wheelchair accessable – which is why is looks all rampy, and has annoying jaggedness everywhere!

    deffo agree with alison

    jon, i’m not a reverse snob, i’m an architect too, i think architectures pretty cool, but architects have hidden themselves away in a little bubble – what we do doesn’t talk about the world – it talks about the world of architecture
    stuff like this sky walk (well the opening party) just emphasise this in a comic way

    its also obvious when you see people doing ‘sustainability research projects’ like diller and scrofidio’s latest abortion – total garbage
    garbage thinking
    do favellas need architects? no
    does any NEED architects? well in some form – maybe

    woooooo we’re part of a dead profession ;)

    lets just enjoy all the champagne and hogroast we can get :D

  • extra


  • alejandro

    nice pork!!!

  • tim

    I went along to have a look at the walkway, expecting something pretty cool…especially after things I had read about it……. being a 160 m long walk way 5-6 m high zig zagging across the street.
    I thought it would get you up close to the different buildings and street furniture around there, giving everyone a interesting new perspective on the lights, the trees, the balconies and fences in the area from above.
    I was sadly disappointed, a real opportunity missed me thinks.
    The walkway itself…..slightly angled scaffolding.

  • I can’t speak for CG, but I’m pretty sure the ramps did not exceed 1:12 rise which is the standard requirement for accessibility.

    In terms of spending public money, I hope people visited our temporary pavilion right outside the British Museum tucked into CG’s Skywalk niche. It was an amazing spot.

    We reckon approx 5000x walked through our pavilion, which included lost tourists, LFA visitors, friends and family and members of the public looking for our organised events alongside the pavilion.

    2x bespoke events were arranged.; a Tour of Bloomsbury and a Family + Young People’s Activity Fun Pack. More than 60x people embarked on the tour with our lovely tour guide. And approx 250x families took part in our family activity pack, which included an architectural/historical treasure hunt, drawing materials and chalk to scribble onto our pavilion!! And all this for FREE for the PUBLIC!

  • Peter.G

    its all approx this and approx that.

    and those people mobile studio list are either the same people (upper middle class white families that hang around the british mus. or exhibition road or as they say, tourists! that aint a festival of london!)

    but these people are SO out of touch they count these people! its not their fault, they dont know any different.