NBBJ - the architect that proposed building a shadowless skyscraper next the The O2 - wants to bring back Frost Flowers - a series of natural ice rinks that were seen on the Thames for centuries until the early 1830s.
The formations were a regular occurrence in London during the winter months as the previous London Bridge limited the flow of the river and caused it to freeze over for large parts of the winter.
Victorians took full advantage of the ice, throwing Frost Fairs where there would be skating, markets and exhibitions.
The scheme proposes retractable jetties that would unfurl into large circular discs that would be submerged slightly below the water level.
These objects would isolate a thin basin of water from the flow of the river and enable the water to naturally freeze.
NBBJ design director Christian Coop said: “In a dense, modern city such as London the Thames provides a unique open vista where the history and origins of this great city can be viewed.
“A draw for Londoners and tourists alike, the South Bank has become a bustling leisure area with bars and markets lining the river. New space is now desperately needed, and accordingly we looked to our heritage to find one possible solution.”
The Frost Flowers concept is among NBBJ’s three-part investigation into the most characteristic aspects of London: skyline, subway and river, looking into city life and how it can be improved, adapted and potentially evolve.
Among its previous designs are a shadowless skyscraper and the transformation of the London Underground into electronic walkways.