BDP has won a Natural Stone Craft Award for its public realm scheme at Elizabeth Street in Belgravia, London. The awards were announced on 16 September at a ceremony at the Mansion House in London, and presented by HRH The Duke of Gloucester.
The Natural Stone Craft Awards are held every four years by the Worshipful Company of Masons with the aim of encouraging the use of natural stone in building and repair and restoration projects within the London area. The Masons’ Company was formed in Medieval times as a trade guild of the City of London to regulate the quality of stone buildings in the City.
Elizabeth Street is strategically placed in the heart of the Belgravia conservation area, and is famous for its bespoke, eclectic fashion retailers that complement the wealthy surrounding area. The scheme was designed to create a special experience for those who live, work or visit the area, recreating the atmosphere of an urban village and putting people at the heart of place making. High quality materials were used to develop a more attractive and comfortable pedestrian experience. Contemporary street lighting sympathetic to a heritage environment has been introduced, as well as trees to provide shade, while street clutter and unnecessary signage has been removed.
The scheme was unveiled in September 2010 by The Duke of Westminster who gave an opening address at a street party for over 700 guest retailers and local residents. His grace commented: “This is not a cosmetic makeover; it has involved a substantial reconstruction of the street, using high quality materials to make a lasting change for the better. It is a long-term investment for the whole community – to enhance the appearance and improve the street – and I am confident this completed scheme will set a new standard for urban life in London.”
The completion of Elizabeth Street is the first part of the wider enhancement of the historic estates of Mayfair and Belgravia being undertaken by Grosvenor, with support from Westminster County Council, and drawing on a public realm strategy produced by Danish architect and urbanist Jan Gehl. BDP has since completed work on Mount Street in Mayfair, and new design studies are underway for other parts of the estate including Duke Street and North Audley Street also in Mayfair.