Royal Academy of Arts


EPR submitted ideas to The Royal Academy of Arts in response to their open call for ‘Re-imagining Mayfair’— a competition to transform the area to the north of Burlington Gardens into a unique cultural quarter. Our shortlisted proposal integrates art, craft and commerce to create a bold and memorable visitor attraction - furthermore establishing the Royal Academy as a leading institution in the creative arts. Our plans consider the feasibly practical to the poetic.

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Dr Rick Wheal found that one of the major criticisms of the urban environment is that the streetscape is designed for vehicles, not people. Our aspiration is to reverse this imbalance through engaging people with roads and pavements visually and only allowing cars and vans to pass through at specific times.

Burlington Gardens evolved from a garden space to an urban space with clearly defined edges, however the character of the space has been eroded over time. It is our intention to create a new square, a reinterpretation of Piazza Navone, where public buildings and public spaces merge in continuous public realm; where art and craft are integral and form part of a processional route of London squares.

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The underused fifth elevation has been reimagined as Burlington Gardens to create a new level of public realm – interlinked sky gardens and Lunardi inspired balloons give the visitor a new perspective of London and define this area of reimagined Mayfair. Artist Kate Malone sees urban space through the eyes of a visitor. A visitor to a place or area, conscious or unconscious, might have a list of needs; to enjoy or take pleasure, to use, to learn, to give, to take, to share, to better oneself, to add to a place, to form a habit or routine, to make a difference, to leave a mark.

Client: Royal Academy of Arts; Architects Journal | Services: Masterplanning | Collaborators: Kate Malone