Relationship between the green and the river Essay Example

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Relationship between the green and the river


Crossness pumping station is a former sewerage treatment works that was established in 1859 and completed in 1865. The design was carried out by metropolitan board of works that was operating under the London Borough of Bexley (Garrett, 2016). A lot of historical architectural changes have taken place at the location since 1865. The paper thus discusses the relationship between the green and river from a historical architectural view.


According to the map, the green section has some buildings which are of historical architectural relevance. One of the main buildings located in the green section is the crossness pumping station. It is characterized by an architectural extravagance which was put in place deliberately. The concept of Victorian Engineering which was common at the time was used in the construction of the buildings (Sewage, 2012). This therefore provides the visitors with an opportunity to see the marvel of the Victorian Engineering and its architectural extravagance. The unique architecture saw the British royalty attending the opening ceremony of the pumping station. The area in green was however abandoned at some point due to the relationship with the river. The raw sewerage from the treatment plant was being discharged to the river Thames before being released to the sea. This however contributes to massive pollution of the river (Hwang, 2012). The people who were living downstream were affected due to the contamination of the water. Consumption of water from the river led to sickness and hence impacting negatively on the health of the people. This was therefore one of the main reason that contributed to the closure of the pumping station.

The closure of the pumping station impacted negatively on the buildings that were located in the green area. Most of the buildings were abandoned leading to massive deterioration. The landscape was thus scattered with abandoned buildings. The construction of the modern sewerage station nearby also contributed to the decommissioning. However, the buildings were offered protection under grade 1 (Marshall, 2013). The reconstruction efforts began in 1987 and this led to the area being developed as a museum. It is due to the restoration works that the green section currently has a modern landscape and other building such as cafes. The river has also been restores and it has been cleared off pollutants. The river greatly influenced the architecture and the landscape in the green section. The beautiful architecture played a vital role in the nicknaming of the pump station as a cathedral of sewage (Appleby, 2012). The presence of the river played a vital role in the construction of the buildings around the green section. The landscape has also been maintained over the years as a result of the river which provides the water for carrying out the irrigation process. This has greatly contributed to the beauty of the gardens and the open parks that are located in the green section. The restoration works has played a vital role in terms of ensuring that the area is able to retain its former beauty and this has contributed to the attraction of tourists.


In conclusion, it is evident that there is a historical architectural relationship between the river and the green area. The river contributes to the selection of the location for the sewerage works where a unique architecture was used in the construction of buildings.


Garrett, B. L. (2016). Picturing urban subterranea: Embodied aesthetics of London’s sewers. Environment and Planning A, 0308518X16652396.

Sewage, C. (2012). Sewage treatment plant gets a makeover. World Pumps.

Hwang, H. (2012). Into the Belly of the Beast: Exploring London’s Victorian Sewers Conceiving the City: London, Literature, and Art 1870–1914 A Mighty Mass of Brick and Smoke: Victorian and Edwardian Representations of London. Journal of Victorian Culture, 17(1), 120-124.

Marshall, G. (2013). London’s Industrial Heritage. The History Press.

Appleby, P. (2012). Integrated sustainable design of buildings. Routledge.