The Kissing Gates are three installations across Southwark by Sam Clarke, an architect from tp bennett, for the London Festival of Architecture in the month of June. This year’s festival theme is ‘Boundaries’, these gates are a whimsical interpretation of this, aiming to bring a piece of the British countryside into the heart of London to provide an element of surprise and delight for Londoners.
The gates allow for the space between them to be used as a moment in the journey to pause, reflect, and acknowledge. The transitional space forces one to look behind whilst also looking ahead to a new field.
The history of Southwark is one of fields and marshes, divided by fences to separate ownership and control livestock. The Kissing Gates recreate those historic divisions in and amongst the highly developed area of London Bridge. Where once there was a need to control wandering beasts, now the city is juggling the volume of visitors, workers and residents.
The first location is just inside the public foyer to the station outside St Thomas Street.
The second is outside the station foyer on Tooley Street.
The third location is on Southbank river walk, between Sea Containers House and the Oxo Tower.