Shortlist announced for competition to redesign historic City gardens

The City of London Corporation has revealed the five firms shortlisted in its architectural design competition to transform the Grade II listed gardens at Finsbury Circus, in the Square Mile.

Measuring just under two acres, the site is the City’s largest open space and London’s first public park, receiving over two million visits year. 

It is reopening in August after being closed to the public for 10 years due to Crossrail works.

The company used the area to access a section of tunnel between Farringdon and Liverpool Street below the park. Around two thirds of the site was occupied for the works, requiring the removal of a bowling green and the historic Grade II-listed drinking fountain which has been moved into temporary storage.

The City Corporation is seeking a joint bid from an architect and a landscaping business.

Applicants were asked to come up with creative and sustainable design ideas to return the park not only into a multifunctional public space with a pavilion - but also to restore its historic features and transform it into a green sanctuary within the Square Mile.

The five firms shortlisted are:

  • Alvisi – Kirimoto Partners S.R. L.
  • Architecture 00 Limited
  • Feilden Fowles Architects Limited
  • Hall McKnight (Partnership)
  • Paul Archer Design Limited

The shortlisted organisations will now progress to the ‘stage two’ design phase of the competition where they will provide their initial design concepts. The winner will be announced in September.

The City Corporation will work with the successful professional team to deliver the scheme.  

Oliver Sells QC, Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s Open Spaces and City Gardens Committee, said:

We are excited to restore this key public space and I’m confident that this scheme will transform it once more into a green sanctuary.

“We are proud to be the guardians of this historic site and to support London’s architecture and landscaping firms in this endeavour.

“We will place equal importance on the design of the gardens and the buildings and I wish good luck to the five firms shortlisted.”

The Garden has been owned by the City Corporation since 1812, but dates back to 1606 when it was laid out as London’s first public park.

It is listed on Historic England’s register of Parks & Gardens of Historic Interest and sits within the Finsbury Circus Conservation Area.

The City Corporation protects and conserves 11,000 acres of green space in London and south east England – including Epping Forest and Hampstead Heath - and over 200 smaller ones in the Square Mile.

They are funded by over £29million a year from the City Corporation and include important wildlife habitats, Sites of Special Scientific Interest and National Nature Reserves. They are protected from being built on by special legislation.

Its green spaces, most of which are charitable trusts, are run at little or no cost to the communities that they serve.


Media Enquiries

Kristina Drake

Media Officer, City of London Corporation

07710860884 / 020 7332 1125

Notes to editors

About the City of London Corporation:

The City of London Corporation is the governing body of the Square Mile dedicated to a vibrant and thriving City, supporting a diverse and sustainable London within a globally successful UK. 

The design team for the project to date includes :

Project Managers – Potter Raper Ltd

Structural & Civil Engineers – Engenuiti

MEP Consultants – XC02

Cost Consultants – Currie and Brown