New Princes Circus space completed as part of Camden’s West End transformation

Camden Council has completed its transformation of the northern section of Princes Circus – the latest section of the West End Project to be opened.

Princes Circus sits at the junction of High Holborn, Shaftesbury Avenue and New Oxford Street and is a key walking and cycling route between Covent Garden and the British Museum in Bloomsbury.

The space was previously underused and dominated by an ugly electricity substation, with poor paving materials, no seating or planting. The impressive architecture of the local buildings and beautiful trees were often overlooked as people hurried through. 

Councillor Adam Harrison, Cabinet member for a Sustainable Camden

The redesigned and improved Princes Circus will transform this area by adding to our programme of greening spaces across the borough. Once again, we have changed road space into usable and enjoyable green space for people.

There is now distinctive woodland style planting along with plenty of new places to stop, rest and enjoy the space.

Princes Circus now sits perfectly as an improved and inviting pedestrian route between Covent Garden and the British Museum.

Many people have told me how much they enjoy the revitalised Whitfield Gardens and the new park at Alfred Place Gardens, and I am sure that residents and visitors will take full advantage of the improved Princes Circus. Each of these spaces have been lovingly designed by our partners at LDA Design.

Councillor Adam Harrison, Cabinet member for a Sustainable Camden

Tim South, LDA Design Project Leader said:

“The removal of a short section of Shaftesbury Avenue has completely transformed Princes Circus from a dark and unloved space, into a new type of city square.

“One that we affectionately call ‘The woodland glade’ – a place for people and nature. Delivering projects of this nature requires a huge collaborative endeavour, and we have enjoyed working with Camden and the wider team.” 

Isaac Webb, NRP Project Director, said:

“It has been a challenging yet rewarding project and as the Project Managers we are proud to have been part of delivering this high-end park in such a central London location.” 

New designs for Princes Circus were developed together with partner LDA Design and following engagement with residents, businesses, and local interest groups. The project is managed by NRP, who have been involved with the wider West End Project for several years.

The space is now filled with new plants, trees, and lots of seating for people to enjoy, making it into an inviting place to stop and rest as well as improving walking connections in the area.

Contractors Idverde are continuing to construct the southern space outside the Shaftesbury Theatre and will be completed by the summer, marking the completion of the West End Project.

The largest transformational scheme in the borough, the West End Project is changing not just how people travel in the Tottenham Court Road area, but how it looks and feels. It is addressing issues which have affected the area for some time, including traffic congestion, a lack of public open space and poor air quality.

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You can view before and after images and time lapse video of the transformation of Princes Circus online.