Lead designer / landscape architect: Burns + Nice;
Client: Westminster City Council;
Engineering and highway design: WestOne Infrastructure Services;
Principal contractor: SIAC Construction
This year’s President’s Award has gone to the reshaping of London’s Leicester Square by Burns + Nice. LI president Sue Illman, who chose the project from among all the individual category winners, writes:
‘The urban environment in a dense modern city, with its requirement to fulfil numerous objectives, is one that challenges the profession to perform. When that challenge is increased by a historic and popular location, by previous failed efforts at change, by constraints of mature trees and regulation, and with much of London watching with a critical eye, then the pressure is definitely on.
‘The scheme I have chosen for the President’s Award, by transcending the problems of the past and the site, and through a beautifully conceived piece of utterly modern design, is Leicester Square.
‘Burns + Nice has amply demonstrated how thoughtful modern design, which is practical and robust in its concept but elegant in its detailing, can not only provide a new type of urban square, but can also demonstrate how improvements to the quality of the environment can act as a catalyst for change and regeneration. The ribbons of seating and planting, and the reflections of water and fencing, have radically changed the quality of this most difficult space.
‘Leicester Square and the surrounding streets, accommodating more than 500,000 visitors daily, has long been an essential stop on any tourist map, but Burns + Nice has now created a place worthy of such attention.’
Leicester Square won the Design for a Medium-Scale - Public category.