Alfred Place Gardens – from road to green space

Image Credit: LDA Design

Until works began, Alfred Place was an ordinary, vehicle dominated back street parallel to Tottenham Court Road. Now renamed Alfred Place Gardens, it is Camden’s first new park in the area for 25 years.

Image Credit: Camden Council

The park is part of a major rethink of streets and spaces across the West End aimed at providing a better experience and a healthier environment. Just two hours of contact with nature per week reduces the risk of individual poor health by 45 per cent.

Before | Image Credit: LDA Design
After | Image Credit: LDA Design
fore | Image Credit: LDA Design
After | Image Credit: LDA Design

A meandering path lined with sculptural granite and timber seating makes Alfred Place Gardens a wonderful place to relax and the perfect lunchtime spot in a busy area that is short on quality shared spaces. Lounging lawns, a children’s play space and diverse and colourful planting add delight and all-year-round interest. Mature trees frame the space. The new landscape by LDA Design has been shaped through engagement with local residents, businesses and interest groups.

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Image Credit: LDA Design
Image Credit: Camden Council

Alfred Place Gardens makes an important contribution to the West End Project, the biggest council-led public realm and transport scheme the borough has ever seen. It is addressing traffic congestion, road safety, poor air quality and limited access to open space and nature in this area, shown to be so important during the pandemic.

Image Credit: Camden Council

“The opening of a totally new park in the midst of a bustling city centre is a cause for celebration. This is the first new park for this part of the borough in a quarter of a century, and we’ve achieved it here by rethinking the city and innovatively transforming road space into high quality green space.

“Through the West End Project, we are investing in new and improved green spaces, to support the health and wellbeing of local communities with places to meet, relax and play, the need for which has been starkly highlighted during the pandemic, as well as improving air quality, reducing flooding and supporting biodiversity.

Councillor Adam Harrison, Cabinet member for a Sustainable Camden
Image Credit: Camden Council
Image Credit: Camden Council

The West End Project includes the rejuvenated Whitfield Gardens and the pocket parks at Capper Street, Huntley Street and Bedford Avenue, where road junctions have been turned into small green spaces for people to enjoy. More trees are being planted across the area and a brand-new public space at Princes Circus is still to come, as well as new pocket parks.

For every £1 invested in Camden’s green spaces, the Council reports a return of £11.58.

“It has been a privilege to turn this unremarkable West End street into an antidote to city life – a distinctive, nature-rich community space for local residents, workers, shoppers and visitors to enjoy and a welcome refuge from the bustle of Tottenham Court Road. We’re thrilled with the results and can’t wait to see people using it as a family play space, or to exercise, or to meet friends or to just take a moment. Everyone’s going to love it as the seasons change. We need more spaces like Alfred Place Gardens across our cities – and fast!”

Tim South, project lead from LDA Design,

Landscape Architect: LDA Design

Client: Camden Council

Image Credits: As captioned

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About Damian Holmes 5564 Articles
Damian Holmes is the Founder and Editor of World Landscape Architecture (WLA). He is a registered landscape architect (AILA) working in international design practice in Australia. Damian founded WLA in 2007 to provide a website for landscape architects written by landscape architects. Connect on Linkedin at https://www.linkedin.com/in/damianholmes/