Architecture competition launched to redesign historic City gardens


The City of London Corporation has launched a design competition to transform the Grade II listed gardens at Finsbury Circus, in the Square Mile.

This two-stage competition is to come up with the most creative and sustainable design ideas to return Finsbury Circus Gardens not only into a multifunctional public space with a pavilion but also into a sanctuary within the Square Mile.

The governing body is seeking a joint bid from an architect and a landscape architect to deliver a new design for the reinstatement of Finsbury Circus Gardens and Pavilion.

Finsbury Circus Gardens is the City’s largest open space at 2,200 sqm, and this unique opportunity seeks to reinstate the hard and soft landscaping and pavilion on a site, which for the last 10 years, a substantial part has been used by Crossrail to provide access to the section of tunnel between Farringdon and Liverpool Street.

It is looking for an exemplary design which is sympathetic to the historic gardens and surrounding buildings.

The City Corporation will work with the successful professional team to deliver this exceptional scheme.

Finsbury Circus is the oldest and one of the most prestigious public parks in the City, receiving over two million visits year.

In March 2010, Crossrail LTD (CRL) took possession of a substantial part of Finsbury Circus Garden for the purposes of a works site to construct its high-speed rail link.

Approximately two thirds of the garden was occupied for its works, requiring the removal of the a bowling green, the historic drinking fountain (Grade II listed), and soft landscaping elements.

news london

NOW READ: Wildlife project ‘leaping forward’ to help people with dementia

Historic features of the garden will be reinstated, such as the drinking fountain, which had been temporarily removed from site and are in storage.

Oliver Sells, chairman of the City of London Corporation’s Open Spaces and City Gardens Committee, said: “This is an exciting project to reinstate the oldest and largest public open space in the City of London.

“Since opening in the 17th century it has gone through many changes but it has been at the forefront of public garden design and many of those who have worked there have gone on to great things.

“We treasure and need our open spaces more than ever in today’s world as oases of peace, quiet and greenery, and I am determined that London shall have the very best we can offer.

“This is a chance, after a decade of occupation by Crossrail, to re-create a public garden worthy of this amazing and historic space. We are holding a public competition as we want to encourage new entrants, small firms and all in the garden design world to have a chance to make their mark. Good luck to all involved.”

To apply visit Capital Sourcing here. Applicants will have 30 days to apply, with the competition ending on 6 July 2020. Five entrants will make the shortlist, which will be announced in the coming months by the City Corporation.

For the latest headlines from the City of London and beyond, follow City Matters on TwitterInstagram and LinkedIn.