Westminster council and the Crown Estate looking for design team to lead “once in a generation” upgrade of world famous shopping district

Piccadilly Circus shutterstock 2

Piccadilly Circus

Westminster council and The Crown Estate will launch a competition to design a “once in a generation” transformation of the heart of London’s West End this month.

The pair are looking for a multi-disciplinary practice to create a “landmark city-shaping scheme” spanning Piccadilly Circus, Regent Street and Haymarket.

A prior information notice has been posted for the £1.7m job with invitations to tender expected to be published on 18 June.

The council and the Crown Estate said the ambition of the scheme is to revitalise the areas as “vibrant, inclusive, resilient and sustainable places that reflect the dynamism of one of London’s leading cultural and commercial districts”.

“The selected design team will have the opportunity to leave a lasting mark on one of the world’s most celebrated urban landscapes,” the pair added.

The competition will look for “ambitious, innovative and solutions-focused” urban designers with a track record in developing “world class” public realm design in high profile urban environments.


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Regent Street

The brief will include a focus on incorporating nature, creativity and the design of “timeless spaces” which ensure the new public realm is adaptable to future needs.

The call for proposals will be an open tender process with a deadline of midday on 2 August and a full contract notice expected to be published on 9 September.

It comes four years after Westminster council launched a similar process to transform nearby Oxford Street, appointing urban design consultancy Publica as ‘design guardian’ for the £235m revamp in 2020.

That project included the creation of MVRDV’s disastrous Marble Arch Mound, which became a laughing stock when it opened because of its unkempt appearance despite its budget more than tripling during construction.

Rotterdam-based MVRDV later distanced themselves from the project, criticising the council for overseeing a “loveless execution” of its design.