Grosvenor Britain & Ireland ('Grosvenor') has today opened a public call for ideas to make Grosvenor Square, larger than Trafalgar Square, London's leading public space for the 21st century.
In the year it agrees to take back management from The Royal Parks of London’s second largest square, Grosvenor is launching a public campaign it calls ‘Shaping the Square’. It will poll 1,000 Londoners, interview locals and talk to visitors, to gather their ideas on how this public space could be used. The campaign will reinforce the company’s commitment to maintain Grosvenor Square garden as a free public space.
Grosvenor’s 'crowd sourcing of ideas' bolsters its recently published 20 year vision for Mayfair and Belgravia. The company wants to transform its London estate and help tackle the pressures facing the capital with better streets, greener spaces and more enterprising places that appeal to all. Grosvenor will invest in the square alongside surrounding businesses.
The public call for ideas will inform a professional panel of leading figures in culture, architecture, horticulture and landscape design who will oversee an international competition next year. Grosvenor will call for proposals to reclaim Grosvenor Square’s position as one of the capital's most celebrated public spaces.
Grosvenor Square was first developed over 280 years ago and caused a sensation with its unprecedented size, the first of its kind. Today, the relocation of the American Embassy and the proposed redevelopment of the embassy building by developers Qatari Diar will further open this space to the public with a hotel and shops.
Craig McWilliam, Chief Executive of Grosvenor Britain & Ireland, said: "Grosvenor Square should be a defining public space for London. It is larger than Trafalgar Square, at the heart of the West End and just a short walk from Oxford Street.
"As we agree to take back management of Grosvenor Square, we will ask Londoners, residents and visitors what they want of this great green urban space. We’re focused on making our London estate work harder for the capital and its communities, with a fantastic public space for Londoners at its heart."
For more information contact:
Senior Media Relations Manager
Grosvenor Britain & Ireland
+44 (0)20 7312 6479
Notes to Editors
‘Shaping the Square’
The ‘Shaping the Square’ website and trailer can be viewed here:
For more information about Grosvenor’s 20 year vision for its London estate see:
Grosvenor Square Images
High resolution photos of Grosvenor Square and “Shaping the Square” campaign collateral are available on request.
About Grosvenor Square
Grosvenor Square was first developed during 1725-1731 and caused a sensation in the capital with its unprecedented size, the first of its kind. a piece of classically-inspired garden in the city, it has evolved to the changing needs of Londoners.
From construction until World War II, Grosvenor Square was one of the most fashionable residential addresses in London.
In addition to the US Embassy, the buildings around the Square mainly comprise neo-Georgian mansion blocks, apartments and hotels.
A statue to Franklin D Roosevelt, a memorial to the Eagle Squadron and the 9/11 memorial garden are clues to the Square’s long-standing connection to the United States.
John Adams, first American Minister to Great Britain, lived at No. 9 Grosvenor Square from May 1785 to March 1788, before becoming Second President of the United States.
Grosvenor Square has housed the US embassy since 1938, and 20 Grosvenor Square was the site of General Dwight D Eisenhower’s headquarters during the Second World War.
The American Embassy building on the Square was designed by Finnish American modernist architect Eero Saarinen and opened in 1961.
The central Square, which was originally reserved for the use of the occupants of the surrounding houses, is today a public park. The Square is 37,000m2, larger than Trafalgar Square and the second-largest square in London after Lincoln’s Inn Fields.
About Grosvenor Britain & Ireland
Grosvenor Britain & Ireland creates and manages sustainable urban neighbourhoods that are great places to live, work and visit. The company’s diverse property development, management and investment portfolio includes Grosvenor’s London estate of Mayfair and Belgravia, in which it has a £1bn rolling investment programme. Other developments are elsewhere in London and in Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh and Southampton. As at 31 December 2016, Grosvenor Britain & Ireland had £5.1bn of assets under management.