A new tourist attraction in London, designed by a Dutch architecture firm, has received so much criticism the day after its opening that the attraction is temporarily closed. The green hill between Oxford Street and Hyde Park isnt ready for visitors yet, the district government says in a statement. “Were working hard to solve this in the coming days.”
The Marble Arch Mound should become a lush green hill with a vantage point on top, the designs show. The purpose of the temporary installation was to let Londoners experience the “outdoors” in the middle of the city. In the heart of the 25 metre high hill, partly hollow inside, there is a café, shop and exhibition space.
The attraction was designed by the Rotterdam agency MVRDV, known from the Markthal and the new depot of Museum Boijmans van Beuningen. The Marble Arch Mound opened Monday, but visitors complained that the attraction wasnt finished yet and that it doesnt look like the designs in any way. Some spoke of a “snail mountain”.
The hill doesnt get off well in British newspapers either. For example, The Guardian writes about Mound Zero, The Telegraph headlines a hill of debris. On social media, some people speak of a waste of money. The temporary project is about £2 million.
Also, these visitors are not too talked about Londons newest attraction:
The Westminster board, where the Marble Arch Mound stands, says that anyone who had already bought a ticket (at 4.50 pounds) for this week can just visit the attraction. However, they get a free round-trip ticket so they can visit the green hill again later. The board speaks of a “living building” that takes some time to root and grow.
This is what the architecture firm MVRDV tells a British architects magazine. According to a spokesperson, the Marble Arch Mound opened too early in that respect. “Its always unpredictable when working with plants and trees,” says a spokesperson. “We need to give nature a little bit of time.”