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Long term plans for London street highlighted by short term sculpture

The potential for development in Bloomsbury was demonstrated today by a two storey 160m long walkway launched as part of London Festival of Architecture.

The Arup designed 160m long walkway, NLA Sky Walk, has been constructed over three days in Montague Place, behind the British Museum and will remain there over the weekend.

The installation aims to give Londoners a different view of the street, revealing Montague Place’s potential to become one of the capital’s great public spaces. The NLA Sky Walk rises up to four metres at its peak and will provide views of two of London’s finest examples of landscaping and green public space - Bedford and Russell Square.

Camden Council has plans to transform Montague Place into a usable space and a destination in its own right. Urban designers Burns + Nice have developed proposals to alter and improve the local streetscape in Bloomsbury. In addition to Montague Place, new schemes are also proposed for nearby Great Russell Street, Malet Street and for a vibrant public square at Byng Place. There will be an exhibition of Camden’s proposals on the NLA Sky Walk.

Director of the London Festival of Architecture 2008, Peter Murray said: "The NLA Sky Walk is designed to help us see - to understand the space in a different way and to inspire ideas for its future use. When people taste its potential they will no longer be satisfied that such a dull and second-rate place sits within the network of wonderful Georgian Squares of Bloomsbury. It reinforces one of the fundamental concepts of the Festival of Architecture – that by understanding the city, we can see its potential and change it for the better."

The NLA Sky Walk has been built over three days, constructed of a portable staging system so that the materials can be reused. It is covered in a translucent black mesh.

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