Redesigning the circus

James Forryan
Friday 04 Sep 2009

Atkins make improvements to London's busiest streetscape

In 2007 Atkins was commissioned to design the £3.5 million scheme at Oxford Circus. The aim of the scheme is to reduce pedestrian overcrowding and improve the public realm without a negative impact on vehicle traffic flows, especially buses. Oxford Circus has the highest pedestrian volumes recorded anywhere in London.

At the busiest times, over 40,000 pedestrians and 2000 vehicles per hour pass through the junction. The improvements will transform this iconic London space by improving convenience and safety for all visitors to Oxford Circus, and providing a distinctive sense of place. Thefootways are to be widened through a combination of reducing the widths of central islands and alterations to kerblines, which together with clutter reduction will increase effective footway space by approximately 60%.

Pedestrian congestion will be eased, particularly at crossing points, by a combination of the introduction of landmark diagonal crossings, adjusted desire lines and the removal of street clutter. The hard landscape will feature a concentric circular paving pattern to reflect the Circus. Paving on the Regent Street approaches will ultimately be in York stone and Oxford Street in grey granite flagstones. The concentric sett module paving at the junction re-establishing the circularity of the Circus will be a mix reflecting the colours of the stones on the approaches in greys and buffs.

Enhancements to existing street lighting with building fixed public highway and building illumination fittings will reduce street clutter and further improve the attractiveness of the environment and public safety.

Key Facts:

United Kingdom
Urban design

Want to submit your project to World Architecture News?

Contact The Team