12 June 2018
International call for ideas to re-imagine London's Grosvenor Square
Grosvenor Britain & Ireland has launched an international call for ideas to re-imagine Grosvenor Square in London.
Architects, designers and creative thinkers from across the world are 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.
In 2017, Grosvenor 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.
The return of management responsibilities for Grosvenor Square to Grosvenor 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 & 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 & 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.”
Grosvenor has a 20 year vision to transform its London estate to help tackle the pressures facing the capital and all the communities it supports. With London's rapid growth, this strategy will see Mayfair and Belgravia be more active, more open and more integrated, working harder for the city. In the next 10 years Grosvenor will invest £1 billion in future proofing its estate to help it meet the challenges of population growth and to deliver the vision.
Craig McWilliam 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.”
Yana Peel, chair of the panel and CEO of the Serpentine Galleries, commented: "As a panel, we are seeking dreamers, innovators, doers and makers with the imagination and vision to create a truly meaningful and accessible legacy for London. This is a thrilling opportunity to make your mark in the heart of the city, open minds and help inspire a new generation."
Jules Pipe, London’s Deputy Mayor for Planning, Skills and Regeneration, said: “Grosvenor Square deserves to be one of the capital’s most outstanding green spaces so I am delighted that creative talent from around the world can contribute their ideas for improving the square.
“The West End attracts millions of people who want to sample its unbeatable mix of shops, theatres and major tourist attractions. I hope soon that these same people will be able to add Grosvenor Square to the long list of West End attractions.”
Pictures of the square, Craig McWilliam and the Panel can be downloaded here.
Notes to Editors
For more information please contact:
Rachel Garstang, Head of Media Relations, Grosvenor Britain & Ireland
+44 (0)20 7312 6957
About the Professional Call for Ideas:
Results of the 2017 crowdsourcing for ideas and poll of Londoners can be viewed here and here.
The call ends on 26 October 2018 at 2359 BST.
About Grosvenor Britain & Ireland:
Grosvenor Britain & Ireland creates and manages high quality neighbourhoods that are great places to live, work and visit. Our diverse property development, management and investment portfolio includes Grosvenor’s London estate of Mayfair and Belgravia and other developments in London, Oxfordshire and Cambridgeshire.
We are part of the Grosvenor Group, one of the world’s largest privately-owned property companies, which develops, manages and invests in property in more than 60 cities around the world.
As at 31 December 2017, Grosvenor Britain & Ireland had assets under management of £5.2bn.
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Delivering Grosvenor’s London estate vision:
Recently, Grosvenor has demonstrated its ability to cultivate highly attractive enterprising spaces with long term impact through activity such as:
- Digital investment: A £2 million investment to improve the West End’s digital resilience, bring down barriers for local businesses and future-proof consumers’ use of the internet.
- 65 Davies Street a £150 million, c65,500 sq. ft. of new office space above the western ticket hall at Crossrail’s new Bond Street station opening up new contemporary office space for the area.
- St Mark’s Mayfair the complete restoration of a Grade 1 listed former church in the heart of the West End. The refurbished building will shortly be re-launched as a retail and dining destination.