The Dutch architect company behind the newly-opened Marble Arch Mound installation in central London has defended the installation, following a series of complaints.
The 25-metre mound, planned by Dutch architect company MVRDV, is designed to give views of the capital’s Oxford Street, Hyde Park, Mayfair and Marylebone.
It is part of a scheme to increase footfall in the shopping district as lockdown restrictions ease.
But there have been some complaints following its opening that work is still ongoing, with some people taking to social media to pan the attraction – resulting in its temporary closure just two days after being opened.
A spokesperson for MVRDV acknowledged there were issues and told the Architects Journal that was a “pity the mound opened too soon”.
They added: “It is always unpredictable when you work with plants and trees, especially in challenging weather conditions.
“Because of the recent drought the sedum appears brown and thin – but it will get better.”
The spokesperson said the mound was a “vulnerable installation” and that people “need to give nature a bit of time”.
Criticism of the installation was widespread on Twitter, with one person describing it as “the worst thing I’ve ever done in London”, while others described it as “a huge pile of dirt”.
Evening Standard journalist Abha Shah said the mound was a “patchy grassed abomination” after her visit.
Visitors are now being offered refunds due to “teething problems” with the attraction.
A day after it opened to the public, parts of the man-made mountain in central London are “not yet ready for visitors”, Westminster Council has admitted, adding it was “sorry for the delay”.
The authority said it is working to resolve issues “over the next few days”.
Anyone who booked a ticket for the first week will be contacted and offered a refund as well as a free return ticket “so they can see the mound at its best”, the council said.
In a statement, Westminster Council added: “The mound is a living building by design.
“We’ll continue to adapt and improve London’s newest outdoor attraction and resolve any teething problems as they emerge.
“We’re sorry for the delay and look forward to welcoming visitors when they’re ready to enjoy all the mound has to offer.”
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