London Mayor Boris Johnson asked Apple to help him build the city’s controversial Garden Bridge, according to a report that reveals the politician flew to Cupertino in February of 2013 to pitch the company on becoming the project’s corporate sponsor.
Apple executives met with the mayor to hear about the ambitious pedestrian bridge project that will stretch across the River Thames. Also present in the meeting was British architect Thomas Heatherwick who designed the Garden Bridge.
Heatherwick’s presence in the Apple meeting has reignited controversy surrounding the bridge because Heatherwick the procurement project for the Garden Bridge project wasn’t over, yet he was allowed to attend the meeting anyway to explain his grand vision for the bridge.
In a statement given to Architects Journal, the mayors office said Heatherwick was already meeting with Apple for something else:
“The Mayor met with Apple in 2013 to discuss a number of investment opportunities in London. Thomas Heatherwick was also in California to meet a separate commitment with Apple. Given that he had already expressed interest in creating a Garden Bridge, the Mayor invited him to join the meeting and outline his ideas.”
Critics of the bridge have argued that the project was a pre-judged and unfair contest championed by the mayor and actress Joanna Lumley who originally created the idea for the bridge in 1998.
It appears that Johnson’s pitch for an Apple Bridge failed to create a deal. Apple reportedly has no involvement in the project and is not considering getting involved. No surprise considering Apple never sponsors building projects.