Excavation of the pit-track foundations, Victorian railway lines found during a dig in the Apex site


VINCI St. Modwen creates colourful routes in Nine Elms with art installation in New Covent Garden Market

September 2021

VINCI St. Modwen (VSM) is pleased to announce the opening of Merchants Way, the new, colourful pathway through New Covent Garden Market to the riverside in Nine Elms. Consisting of a beautiful new art installation bedecking the walls of the pathway, proud new LGBTQ+ rainbow crossings on either side and future opportunities for activity within its secret alcoves, Merchants Way creates new routes for its community and brings a new vibrancy to Nine Elms.

Merchants Way links the newly opened Northern Line tube station and Pascal Street to one of the railway arches known as Arch 42 – and acts as a gateway to the riverside under the main Network Rail line. The opening of Merchants Way synchronises with this week’s opening of the new Nine Elms station.  The pathway features secret alcoves that will house pop-up programmes and activities for the duration of the artwork, adding even more colour and animation to the everyday commuter journey.

The installation lining its walls, designed by artist and illustrator Anna Nicolò, and curated by creativethinking, celebrates the famous 'Buyer’s Walk' in the Fruit and Vegetable Market, the rich heritage and architecture of the original market in Covent Garden, and looks to the future heralded by VSM’s regeneration of the site. It celebrates the uniqueness of the site – the history and shared heritage of the market and its traders – but also of the evolution of the site as a place to work, invent, eat and live.

Anna Nicolò said: “Buyer’s Walk is inspired by a celebration of this rich and colourful landscape, distilled into a bright and joyful pattern, bringing together the past and the future of the market. I hope it brings joy and happiness to all that use the pathway over the next few years.”

Visitors to the Merchants Way will also notice two complementary rainbow pride crossings at either end of the path (leading on from Pascal Street and taking pedestrians towards Arch 42). The six colours from the traditional Pride flag have acted as a symbol of solidarity, diversity and perseverance since the late 70s.VSM is passionate about spreading a message of inclusion and acceptance for all; embedding both a colourful and poignant message in this new gateway across the site.

VSM’s investment in Merchants Way chimes with the project’s aims to open the area to its neighbours, making the site permeable and public when historically it has been a private, wholesale market. The playful route exists to delight and surprise those passing through. and simultaneously eases travel from A to B for the surrounding community. A fully curated programme of installations, community events and activities will be offered along Merchants Way from 2022, making it a joyous experience for both commuters and local residents alike. 

Nick Harrington, Senior Construction Manager for St. Modwen on the site commented: “The new pathway will bring a vibrancy and vitality to the area, with a firm message of openness and inclusion as we look to redevelop further parts of the site. Merchants Way and the artwork celebrate the market’s past while signalling the bright, engaging, and wider vision that VINCI St. Modwen has for the regeneration of the site and for the community of Nine Elms.”

For more information on Merchants Way, click here.

Merchants Way
Merchants Way
Merchants Way
Merchants Way