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Brown Hart Gardens

Brown Hart Gardens Project

Brown Hart Gardens

Brown Hart Gardens Project


Located at the heart of a Peabody housing estate just south of Oxford Street, Brown Hart Gardens is a unique and unusual city square. A central deck is elevated above street level to accommodate an electrical substation built directly below, giving the space a distinctive setting within the neighbourhood. The residents of the adjacent Peabody housing estate have a pronounced sense of ownership, while local public users, particularly workers and shoppers from Oxford Street, use the space throughout the day. These daytime users are set to increase, as the arrival of the Crossrail Bond Street Station in 2018 will bring more pedestrian traffic to the area.

Following from a Social & Cultural Survey of North Mayfair completed in 2010, Grosvenor commissioned Publica to undertake a four-month long public engagement programme to explore ideas about the future use of Brown Hart Gardens. The aim of the project was to gather the opinions of the varied interested parties and translate these into a set of key design principles. A project shop was set up at 80 Duke Street as a place for information, ideas and progress on the project to be shared and discussed. A series of exhibitions, liaison group meetings and events were organised and over 200 people answered questionnaires. A final exhibition was organised, showing the emerging designs informed by the engagement process, as developed by architects Building Design Partnership.

In the Greater London Authority report of May 2011, ‘Public Life in Private Hands’, the Brown Hart Gardens engagement programme was highlighted as positive case study for work in the public realm.

  • Title: Brown Hart Gardens Project
  • Location: City of Westminster, London
  • Year: 2010
  • Client: Grosvenor