London’s next cultural quarter?
By Owen Hopkins
Published 1 April 2014
In partnership with the Architects’ Journal, we are launching an open call for architect-led teams to put forward bold new ideas for reimagining the area of Mayfair directly to the north of our Burlington Gardens building.
Laid out by Lord Burlington in the 1720s and 1730s, this area has had an enduring association with tailoring, private art galleries and, latterly, luxury shopping. Currently, the area is subject to major transformations with the arrival of Crossrail at Bond Street and the RA’s renovation of its Burlington Gardens building, beginning on-site in mid-2015. We’re asking architect-led teams to present ideas for how, amid these changes, this area of Mayfair might become London’s next cultural quarter.
We’re particularly interested in ideas that will develop the cross-pollination between the area's cultural and commercial sides. They might entail physical interventions to enhance the public realm: managing pedestrian and traffic flow for instance, or perhaps public art commissions. But they could also comprise the creation of markets or festivals – cultural activities that enhance the character of the area without necessarily altering it physically.
This is not a commission. Instead, it’s a platform for the four chosen teams to present their ideas. We want to them to as bold and imaginative as possible and to provoke debate, not just about the future this particular area, but about the whole of London.
The deadline for submissions is 30 June.