The Northbank is one of the most culturally significant place in London; from Aldwych to the Strand and Trafalgar Square, it is a key priority for the BID to enchance the area to compliment the surrounding cultural destinations and world-famous hoteliers and hospitality.
The ambition of the Strand Aldwych project is to transform this location from a polluted, traffic dominated gyratory to a pedestrian focused destination with strong links to the surrounding districts. The new public realm will balance the needs of the everyday for the local community with a world-class scheme.
The vision is for the area to become a global creative and cultural quarter which will be an international beacon for creativity, enterprise and learning.
The project objectives are:
Find out more on the Strand Aldwych website here.
The Northbank BID run and funded the selection of 4 artists. Arts were asked to develop a place-specifc concept around one of the three main themes:
The artists developed their proposals alongside the project team through RIBA stage 3 integrating their concepts within the emerging landscape design.
Emma Smith was chosen to complete the project. Concept: the people of the Aldwych, past & present.
Villiers Street, bounded to the east by the River Thames, is home to a concentration of prevalent visitor attractions and historic landmarks. Its location between two prominent transport hubs – the Embankment tube station and Charing Cross station, and the main entrance to the historic Victoria Embankment Gardens (Grade II* Park and Gardens) makes it a busy through-route, which is lined with retail and office buildings, restaurants and bars
Provide a street that is both visually inviting and pedestrian-friendly, supported by enhanced security and the temporary timed closures to
improve the look and feel of what is already a heavily used pedestrian space that will only benefit from the investment in the public realm and help to improve the way it is used.
Look and feel
The scheme extends from the Embankment Station side of the railway bridge on Embankment Place, through Villiers Street, and ends at the Strand. The preferred option that has been developed incorporates a timed pedestrian and cycle zone along the length of Villiers Street between
Embankment Place and John Adam Street, and full pedestrianisation on Villiers Street between John Adam street and the Strand.
The footway and carriageway within Villiers Street (between Embankment Place and John Adam Street) are proposed to be laid with granite setts.
The carriageway will be laid with an increased construction depth to allow for vehicle weight/ vehicle loading, as per Westminster Standards.
Embankment Station forecourt and the section of Villiers Street between John Adam Street and the Strand, will be paved with standard WCC specification ‘Scoutmoor’ yorkstone paving, to highlight the
dedicated pedestrian areas within the scheme.
No formal traffic lanes are proposed, and no formal loading bays are proposed on Villiers Street.
Traffic Management Order consultation (TMO consultation) will be completed in future stages. Equally, there will be no kerbs or road markings
within the pedestrianised zone, aside from the area outside Victoria Embankment Gardens, which is currently proposed to be bounded by a flush kerb.
A significant feature of the proposal is the removal of the existing steps outside the Victoria Embankment Gardens to unlock some additional space for pedestrian activity. This lowers the surface level near the road and places new relocated steps at the entrance to the gardens itself. Lowering the levels in this area is subject to further investigation regarding existing tree roots from within the gardens and the impact on the existing wall structure
3 project families with 30 concept briefs.
Strand & lanes, courts and smaller spaces
Trafalgar Square to Charing Cross
Northumberland Avenue to Embankment