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Photos in central London, England, UK: Public Realm + Landscape Design

25 Nov 2013

Leicester Square Landscape

Revamped Leicester Square wins UK’s most prestigious landscape award

Leicester Square City Quarter in London has been named winner of the 2013 Landscape Institute President’s Award.  Burns + Nice, the landscape architects behind the reshaping of the central London site, were selected from 41 landscape projects competing for the prestigious landscape award.  Other entrants included Gardens by the Bay in Singapore, the Olympic Park design for the 2016 Rio Olympics and Gorky Park in Moscow. The winners received their award at a ceremony hosted by Wayne Hemingway MBE.

Leicester Square
photo © Burns + Nice

Leicester Square and its nine side streets form one of the most intensely used urban spaces in London. The square also acts as a green oasis within London’s busy West End.  Despite being a major entertainment and tourist destination, the area had become disconnected from its surroundings, rundown in appearance and a place where antisocial behaviour had become a serious issue.

Leicester Square West Terrace
photo © Burns + Nice

The Burns + Nice design, inspired by the late 19th century form of the central garden, includes new railing and gates framed by a sinuous white ‘Ribbon’.  The Gardens and ‘Ribbon’ are framed by a carpet of dark granite, the shape of which creates a legible link to the surrounding square.

Leicester Square North Terrace
photo © Burns + Nice

Speaking about her choice for the President’s Award, Landscape Institute President Sue Illman, said: “Burns + Nice has amply demonstrated how thoughtful modern design, which is practical and robust in its concept but elegant in its detailing, can not only provide a new type of urban square, but can also demonstrate how improvements to the quality of the environment can act as a catalyst for change and regeneration. The ribbons of seating and planting, and the reflections of water and fencing, have radically changed the quality of this most difficult space.

Leicester Square and the surrounding streets, accommodating more than 500,000 visitors daily, has long been an essential stop on any tourist map, but Burns + Nice has now created a place worthy of such attention.”

Leicester Square
photo of Leicester Square

The 2013 Winners:

President’s Award

Burns + Nice for Leicester Square City Quarter

Adding Value Through Landscape

Winner: Beam Parklands – a new 53 ha park for East London – by Arup with the Environment Agency and Land Trust

Highly Commended: The redevelopment and modernisation of Heworth Grange Comprehensive School in Gateshead by Capita

Communication and Presentation

Winner: Aecom’s Global Cities Programme – communicating urban visions and frameworks across landscape, urbanism, infrastructure, engineering, economics and ecosystems

Highly Commended: the presentation of Aecom’s winning design for the 2016 Rio Olympic Park

Design for a Small-scale Private Development

Winner: NEO Bankside, London – a biodiverse landscape for the luxury, high-rise housing development next to Tate Modern – by Gillespies supported by Growth Industry

Highly Commended: Embassy Gardens Marketing Suite -a landscape to tell the story of the future Linear Park for London and what it will be like to live there – by Camlins

Design for a Medium-scale Private Development

Winner: The landscape in the first phase of the 400-home ICON development in Somerset by Grant Associates

Design for a Large-scale Private Development

Winner: Accordia – the transformation of former government offices into sustainable city living in Cambridge – by Grant Associates

Design for a Small-scale Public Development

Winner: Sammy Ofer Wing, National Maritime Museum – the creation of two water features and a 160m rill within the Greenwich World Heritage Site – by Churchman Landscape Architects Ltd

Highly Commended: The creation of a new public square for Newcastle University Student Forum by Southern Green Ltd

Design for a Medium-scale Public Development

Winner: Leicester Square City Quarter – the transformation of a previously hostile and disconnected environment into a green oasis within London’s busy West End – by Burns + Nice Ltd

Highly Commended: Ebrington Square, Derry-Londonderry – the transformation of a former military site into a contemporary destination space – by Optimised Environments Ltd

Design for a Large-scale Public Development

Winner: Gardens by the Bay – a landmark project in Singapore, including themed gardens, conservatories and aerial walkway – by Grant Associates

Highly Commended: The restoration of the ecosystem and landscape at Datong Wenying Lake,Datong City, China by Aecom

Highly Commended: The rehabilitation of Shek O Quarry, Hong Kong following years of industrial use by Urbis Ltd

Heritage and Conservation

Winner: Stewart Park, Middlesbrough – a project to safeguard a designed landscape in Middlesbrough – by Southern Green Ltd

Highly Commended: The restoration of Lichfield Historic Parks Project by Chris Blandford Associates

Highly Commended: The Restoration of Priory Park, Reigate by Land Use Consultants

Highly Commended: Victoria Park, London – the restoration of London’s first public park – by LDA Design

Landscape Policy and Research

Winner: Harrogate Green Infrastructure Guide by Harrogate Borough Council

Highly Commended: National Character Area Project: a new integrated framework for landscape planning by Natural England

Highly Commended: What Makes a View? A comprehensive study of Blackdown Hill AONB – by Fiona Fyfe Associates Ltd

Neighbourhood Planning

Winner: The David Livingstone Centre Landscape Masterplan – a new landscape of art, trails, play and education for South Lanarkshire Museum – by Erz

Highly Commended: Bridgecroft Housing Development, Herefordshire – the UK’s largest Passivhaus housing scheme in a rural setting – by Churchman Landscape Architects Ltd

Strategic Landscape Planning

Winner: Network Rail National Lineside Vegetation Management Strategy by LDA Design

Highly Commended: ‘The City in the Forest’ Moscow City Region Plan – a masterplan which makes use of Moscow’s close relationship with its boreal forest – by Gillespies

Highly Commended: Harlow Open Space Study and Green Infrastructure Plan by Land Use Consultants

Urban Design and Masterplanning

Winner: The Connected Croydon Programme – a £50m programme of public realm and landscape projects for Croydon – by Croydon Council

Highly Commended: Northumberland Street, Newcastle Public Realm Vision – a 10-point plan to revitalise the street – by J&L Gibbons Landscape Architects

Highly Commended: New Islington – the development of a sustainable community in one of Manchester’s worst estates – by Grant Associates

Highly Commended: Gorky Park – creating an important new park for Moscow – by LDA Design

Science, Management and Stewardship

Winner: The creation of new perimeter screening at Bayston Hill Quarry Southeastern Extension by SLR Consulting

Highly Commended: Management Plan for Black Brook Corridor – long-term strategy to safeguard the mix of habits, heritage and landscape character of the Black Brook Corridor in Merseyside – by TEP

 

College of Fellows Award: Climate Change Adaption

Winner: Gardens by the Bay – a landmark project in Singapore, including themed gardens, conservatories and aerial walkway – by Grant Associates

Student Dissertation

Winner: Enabling Creative Independence in Child’s Play by Jono Burgess

Highly Commended: Re-evolution of the corporate landscape: converting Luserna San Giovanni townscape with the Caffarel Chocolate Factory in Italy by Martine Sechi

Highly Commended: Urban Wilderness – the value of post-industrial landscapes in providing a new form of urban wilderness by Sophie Tombleson

Highly Commended: Temporary Landscape and the Post-Industrial City – a study of post-industrial Glasgow – by Lisa Jeffrey

Student portfolio

Winner: Zhongyi Zhang, MA Student, University of Sheffield

Highly Commended: Bethany Gale, MA Student, University of Greenwich

Highly Commended: Sophie Tombleson, MSc Student, Edinburgh College of Art

Landscape Architecture + Landscape Architects

2013 saw the introduction of some changes to the award categories.  A new award for ‘Adding Value through Landscape’ was included.  There was also a new ‘Science, Management and Stewardship’ category to replace the ‘Landscape Science and Ecology’ category.  In addition, the design awards now distinguish between public and private work at differing scales, with six awards given.

Now in their seventh consecutive year, the 2013 Landscape Awards were presented by Wayne Hemingway MBE at a lunchtime ceremony on Thursday 21st November at The Bloomsbury Big Top, Corum’s Fields, 93 Guildford Street, London WC1N 1DN.  Visit www.landscapeinstitute.org for more details.

Leicester Square Building – Latest Design

W London – Leicester Square
Jestico + Whiles
W London - Leicester Square
image from Jestico + Whiles

W London Leicester Square

Leicester Square Architecture

Key Buildings:

Odeon building
Leicester Square Odeon building Odeon Leicester Square
photos © Adrian Welch

Leicester Square Odeon
image © Nick Weall

Vue Leicester Square
Vue Leicester Square
photo © Adrian Welch

Leicester Square Building Leicester Square Building
photos © Adrian Welch

Leicester Square Leicester Square
images © Nick Weall

Empire Casino – Empire Theatre Building
Empire Theatre Building Empire Casino Leicester Square
photos © Adrian Welch

Hippodrome
Hippodrome Hippodrome Leicester Square
images © Nick Weall

London Hippodrome
London Hippodrome
photo © Adrian Welch

Swiss Centre, 10 Wardour Street (now demolished, replaced by W Hotel)
1961-66
David du R. Aberdeen & Partners
Swiss Centre Swiss Centre Swiss Centre Swiss Centre
photos © Adrian Welch

14 storey tower
Carillon set in a frieze of animated Swiss figures carved by Fritz Fuchs

Swiss Centre Site Redevelopment : Mixed-use development – proposal

Avery Associates
For site owner British Land Co. Ltd.
Retail, offices, restaurant, cinema

Leicester Square Building
Leicester Square Building

Leicester Square Building
photo © Adrian Welch

Leicester Square Hotel & Cinema Development
make architects
Leicester Square Hotel
image from architects

Leicester Square Hotel, south-west corner of Leicester Square


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Swiss Re Building
photo © Adrian Welch

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