Property group Grosvenor Britain and Ireland has launched an international design competition to re-imagine Grosvenor Square in London.
Architects, designers and creative thinkers from across the world have been invited to submit proposals to re-imagine the historic square for locals, visitors, Londoners and future generations, with the aim of reinstating Grosvenor Square as one of the world’s leading public spaces.
The group said in 2017 that it surveyed 1,000 Londoners and visitors to find out their views on how this public space should be used.
The feedback was that awareness of the square was low and that it was seen as imposing and unwelcoming by those who knew it.
Grosvenor said the return of management responsibilities for Grosvenor Square in May 2018 has presented a remarkable opportunity to redefine and improve the historic square’s civic, aesthetic and cultural contribution to Mayfair, the West End, London and the world.
Grosvenor, the owner of Grosvenor Square, has brought together an independent panel of experts to review submissions from architects, horticulturalists, placemakers, urbanists, artists, gallerists, retailers and designers. The panel includes:
- Yana Peel, CEO, Serpentine Galleries (Chair)
- Deborah Saunt, founding director, DSDHA
- Ed Ikin, head of landscape and horticulture at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
- Abhishek Lodha, managing director and CEO, Lodha Group
- Ben Evans, director, London Design Festival
- Prof. Ricky Burdett CBE, professor of urban studies, London School of Economics
- Nicholas Kirkwood, designer, Nicholas Kirkwood
- Linda Hewson, creative director, Selfridges
Craig McWilliam, chief executive, Grosvenor Britain and Ireland, said: “Grosvenor Square should be a defining public space for London. However, from our research we know it has a low profile and that as a more welcoming and engaging space it would better reflect the capital’s character and appeal to a broader range of locals, visitors and Londoners.”
He added: “As a business, we are opening ourselves up to public opinion. Our call for ideas is a challenge to urban visionaries of all kinds to help us reimagine the square to recapture its place in the minds of those who visit, live and work in London.
“Our independent panel of urban innovators and disruptors will review, filter and critique the very best ideas for us to take forward.”