West End Public Realm

Central London awaits an unparalleled population surge, with hordes of super-commuters being brought into the West End by Crossrail and HS2, and joining existing Londoners on the already crowded narrow historic pavements. As principal designers, DSDHA have led a team of landscape architects, transport engineers and lighting experts working on the rejuvenation of the area between Tottenham Court Road and Gower Street.

A legacy of post war planning that prioritised the car, currently the West End suffers from poor air quality and traffic congestion. The one-way system on Tottenham Court Road and Gower Street confused bus passengers, who cannot arrive and leave from the same station. The lack of pedestrian crossing and cycle routes also caused accidents and casualties; while the narrow and cluttered pavements on Tottenham Court Road provided a poor pedestrian experience, with a significant lack of public spaces to enjoy the area.

Our strategy has removed the one-way system on these two arteries to slow the pace of vehicles and make space for much-needed high quality public amenity, which accommodates pedestrians and cyclists. This redesign incorporated five new public spaces, including Whitfield Gardens, Princes Circus and a new park in Alfred Place – the first green space in the West End for over 100 years.

Spatial Strategy: DSDHA
Landscape Architect: Vogt/Todd Longstaffe-Gowan
Lighting Design: Speirs+Major
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