The detailed designs we shared in July are grounded in the Community Priorities and reflected the feedback we'd received to date.
In 2020, we:
In response to the feedback received to date there are 4 main changes to the proposed design. It has evolved in other ways too, which you can read more about in the next sections.
Your feedback to date has helped guide the information we’re sharing with you today. It’s designed to test key elements of the detailed designs to reflect the priorities you have told us are important. It is split into 8 sections which you can see by clicking on the icons below.
We’ve also been carefully thinking about how to design around existing memorials. Within the gardens, historical structures such as the listed statue of Franklin D. Roosevelt, the listed Eagle Squadrons Memorial as well as the 9/11 Memorial Garden and Treaty of Paris inscription – neither of which are listed - are to be retained.
The entrances at each corner are the gateway to the Square. We want each of them to have a special quality to signify the entrance so it feels special when you arrive.
To help achieve this we are proposing a floating pergola at each corner, which can be seen from the surrounding streets. These would be:
Made from timber
Integrated with lighting spires to help create a safe environment and be beautifully lit after dark
Decorated with plants so that visitors are greeted by wonderful scents and sounds of nature.
In the Autumn, some people told us they wanted to see railings around the perimeter of the Square. We have taken this on board and are proposing to replace the wire mesh currently hidden in the hedges with a fence made from painted galvanised steel. There would be a green, protective edge that blends into the planting of the Shaded Garden, so that you can step from the city into the Square and immediately feel that sense of respite.
There would be robust gates at the entrances in the same style as the fence. The gates of the Square would still close at night, but we are proposing to extend the opening hours to 7am – 10pm (currently 8am– dusk / 8pm).
The 360° view shows what the Square could look like if you were standing along the path leading to the south east corner. Move your phone or touch the screen to look across to the open garden, up towards the gently rising mound. In the edges of the square you will see the social ovals within the shaded garden and in the distance you'll be able to make out the waterfall canopies at the western side of the Square. Read more about them here.
We recognise that the North – South link between the Roosevelt and Eagle Squadron memorials is of significance and considered four options to best represent it.
The planting choices have been carefully considered to create a variety of sensory experiences in the Square.
Each corner of the Square provides an opportunity for people to step into nature from the busy streets.
There would be a diverse and beautiful mix of native flowering and fruiting trees, shrubs, vines, and climbers, enclosing the Square and providing a wonderful wildlife resource.
The Open Garden retains an oval space in the centre of the Square, but it also contributes to species diversity through its flowering lawn.
For decades, gardeners and parks managers have been removing daisies and dandelions from our green spaces. We want to bring them back and fill the Open Garden with flowers that are as lovely for pollinators as they are for people.
The Shaded Garden would be an everchanging mosaic of woodland plants, wildflowers and ferns, with great seasonal interest throughout the year.
Scattered shrubs and small trees give height and structure, whilst aromatic plants around the social ovals would heighten your senses.
As well as providing a home for new wildlife, the water habitats would make an important contribution to the water cycle and ecological functioning of the Square.
Native water and water-edge plants would be introduced to enhance the ecological value even further.
We are proposing to plant at least 50 new trees in the Square that will grow and flourish as some of the existing trees reach the end of their life. The majority of which will be small to medium in size, with flowers and fruits to support wildlife and create visual interest.
A beautiful feature will be the ring of blossom trees around the Oval Garden edge, and the outer boundary of the Square, which will ensure a long season of flowering, mixed with others with bold autumn leaves.
Nestled under two large trees are the two buildings proposed at the south of the Square, close to the entrance.
These would provide amenities for people spending time here including a WC, which we know are currently lacking in the area. There would also be a small kiosk, similar to those provided by Royal Parks in places like Green Park and Hyde Park which sell drinks and snacks.
An intelligent time system would respond to seasonal lighting, optimise wildlife and planting, and minimise energy consumption. To minimise any light pollution to surrounding buildings, lighting would be directed towards specific areas within the Square rather than outside it; it would also be dimmed when the Square is closed.
We have started some fascinating conversations with environmental education experts, who believe that Grosvenor Square would offer a valuable contribution to get local young people closer to nature and learning about urban ecology.
We are currently working to better understand what the local need is, so we can design the best possible programme for nearby schools and organisations.
Thank you to everyone who participated and provided feedback as part of the July programme of events. We will be reading and analysing these in detail to help inform the final designs. We'll share a summary on this website shortly but in the meantime please stay in touch.
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