London, United Kingdom | 2014-2017 | On site
Rathbone Square is a mixed-use development comprising office, retail and residential space previously occupied by Royal Mail’s West End Delivery Office. Our design for the new 1800m2 publicly-accessible garden square offers respite from the frenetic activity of central London, improves connectivity to adjoining areas and contributes to the architectural and social history of the area with materiality that is appropriate to its location. Moreover, by creating new cross-site pedestrian routes, Rathbone Square unifies a collection of buildings, augments the quality of public space in Fitzrovia, and creates a welcoming and accessible new space.
Gustafson Porter + Bowman were approached because of our experience working in constrained urban sites. Our brief was to create an engaging, high-quality public space within a dense urban grain. The landscape is defined by bold geometric forms and includes an open lawn area, semi-mature flowering trees, native planting, water features, public seating and a drinking fountain. In exploring appropriate concepts for the site, we aimed to preserve the special character of the surrounding streets, mews, and passageways, and to enhance a sense of discovery within. To this end, the three principal entries into the garden invite people into the site, enticing passers-by with glimpses of trees and water.
Altogether, the variety of spaces in Rathbone Square are welcoming and free to enjoy for all members of the public whether they live in the development, work in the offices, or simply passing by. Due for completion in 2017, its transformation is one of the largest developments in the West End in recent years.