• Image: Nash Mile
  • Image: Nash Mile
  • Image: Nash Mile

Nash Mile

John Nash’s design for ‘The Royal Mile’ prepared in 1813 for the Office of Woods, Forests and Land Revenues (now the Crown Estate) produced a grand plan, finding serendipity in a classic British compromise. The Nash Mile between Regent’s Park and St James’s Park is London’s only planned urban scheme that links major green spaces in the city. This historic route is now dominated by four lanes of traffic, pushing pedestrians to the margin. In this concept strategy, Feilden+Mawson have re-envisioned the Nash Mile as a high-quality pedestrian environment which continues to honour Nash’s original vision.

Feilden+Mawson’s vision for the area begins by reimagining Nash’s plan for Waterloo Place, which is currently an inappropriate car park at the end of lower Regent Street. Our simple proposal to create a new use and spur activity in Waterloo Place would restore its status as a major public space containing historic monuments framed by major listed buildings. It would also mark the transition from hard urban realm to the softer green of St James’s Park.

Out placemaking strategy looks to create two high-quality pedestrianised squares by moving the existing sculptures to new locations and re-planning vehicular arrangements. In the northern square, traffic lanes could be moved to the centre of the road allowing wide pavements for cafes and a line of trees. Within the southern square, dynamic, modern sculptures could be placed to bookend the new space with hard landscaping. Southern Waterloo Place could become a central destination as a space for year-round programmed events, drawing the activity of Piccadilly Circus Southwards. The grey of Waterloo Place would be greened by introducing trees and reinforcing the link to St James’ Park.

This project was delivered through concept stage design and was presented during a launch event at the inaugural dinner of the Nash Club. Without our further involvement, the project was eventually realised by Westminster City Council.