Visions, Strategies & Masterplans
Projects by service
REDESIGNING MARYLEBONE LANE
Delivering context-led urban design for a West End lane
2011 – 2018
Vision, Strategy, Urban Design
Howard de Walden Estate
WCC WSP FMC
City of Westminster, London
In 2011, the Howard de Walden Estate commissioned Publica to carry out a survey and prepare a vision and concept design to elevate the quality, function and enjoyment of the public realm of Marylebone Lane. A primary aim of this project was to provide a stronger walking connection between Oxford Street and Marylebone High Street as well as improving the environment for local residents and businesses.
By carefully studying the local conditions, and analysing changes underway across the wider neighbourhood, Publica developed a strategy and design approach for the public realm. This included relocating parking, creating new areas of footway, new lighting and tree planting; the strategy also proposed incremental changes and improvements to retail awnings, shopfronts and use of the street.
Research, fieldwork and survey
Marylebone Lane lies within the Harley Street conservation area in the southwestern corner of the Howard de Walden Estate. In contrast to the grid of grand streets that surround it, Marylebone Lane is older, narrower and follows the course of the Tyburn River, a tributary of the River Thames, which is now buried underground.
Redesign of a historic lane
Working within established Westminster public realm principles, Publica’s design enhances the materiality of the street by embracing the historic prominence of the Tyburn. This approach was carried through design proposals by narrowing of the carriageway to evoke a river course, the use of a double granite kerb and edge details, the selection of granite setts in a mixture of subtle colours to evoke water, natural stone footway paving, new trees and public benches at key moments.
In March 2013, an exhibition of the proposed designs was well received by local residents and businesses, with a 95% approval rating. Soon after, the plans were formally adopted by Westminster City Council, who then undertook the engineering and construction of the proposals. Publica was retained by the Howard de Walden Estate to be involved and help guide delivery stages. Work began on site in February 2015, the first stages of the redesign were constructed in 2016 and, after a pause to allow a building development, the final stages of the scheme completed in summer 2018.