Covent Garden

Space Between Buildings

General Principles

The space between buildings in an historic area is a vital component of its attractiveness. When the Market buildings in Covent Garden were restored, this aspect was given considerable attention. This report aims to expand on those principles of good practice, incorporating the latest thinking of English Heritage, the City of Westminster and other experienced bodies.

In particular, an integrated strategy for traffic management, street furnishings and surfaces will help to reduce physical clutter and the intrusive visual clutter of inappropriate designs. Taken together with the removal of inappropriate fixtures on facades, this coordinated approach could have a major impact on the Piazza to the benefit of all interests as well as users of the area.

In simple terms the general principles are as follows:

  • Use authentic traditional forms and materials for furnishings.
  • Remove/design out clutter that undermines spaces/the setting of buildings.
  • Provide improved management of the many activities in the area.
  • Design and specify for improved ease of maintenance and cleansing.
  • Reduce the intrusion of vehicles in the area.
  • Improve accessibility for all pedestrian groups.
  • Improve the appreciation of the area's special history.

This section groups the elements that make up the space between buildings as follows:

STREET DESIGN CONCEPT Describes the style and general aims.
PAVED SURFACES Existing and proposed.
BOLLARDS AND BARRIERS Bollards, gates and separation.
LIGHTING Buildings, streets, features, temporary.
LITTER BINS Principles, large containers, small bins.
BENCHES Seating on the public highway.
TABLES AND CHAIRS Including umbrellas
INFORMATION SIGNS Direction, historical, advertising.
REGULATION SIGNS Vehicles, pedestrians, behaviour.
SECURITY CCTV, policing.
BICYCLES Routing and parking.
PUBLIC FACILITIES Public toilets and street telephones.
MARKET TRADING Stalls, market, mobile trading.
UNDESIRABLE CLUTTER Temporary structures and quality.
PUBLIC ART General principles and examples.
PUBLIC ENTERTAINMENT Street performers and their pitches.
PLANTING Trees, hanging baskets, window boxes.

Many elements contribute to the characteristics of spaces and this section looks at some of the more obvious problems in central Covent Garden.

Covent Garden Area Trust
42 Earlham St, The 7 Dials Club, London WC2H 9LA
Tel: 020 7497 9245 |
Registered Charity No: 299874. Registered at Companies House, Cardiff. Registered No: 02280893.

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