Client: Westminster City Council
Architect: Burns+Nice
Contractor: SIAC Construction

A Prestigious Capital Project

Leicester Square reopened to the public on Wednesday 23rd May 2012. London’s Mayor at the time, Boris Johnson, who officially re-opened the square, described the new Leicester Square as a “beacon for world premieres and stars of the silver screen.”  

The project, carried out by SIAC Construction, involved using 150,000 granite blocks in 17 different sizes to replace every paving stone in the square which included a ribbonedseating area bordering the central gardens which was made in a very light silver-grey granite, the detail of which was developed by Hardscape in 3D design software, proto typed with a 3D print, before a working detail was sent to Hardscape’s factory in Northern China to source and produce. The central gardens water feature compliments the area and sends jets of recycled water two metres into the air around the Shakespeare statue. The square’s trees were also fitted with uplighters to make visitors feel safe at night. 

Hardscape were extremely proud to have supplied all the hard landscape materials and bespoke associated features to this prestigious Capital scheme. 


Burns+Nice picked up the Awards for Design for a Medium Scale Public Development and the prestigious Presidents Award categories at the Landscape Institute Awards 2013  

This is a new design for one of the most heavily used areas in central London, which had become run-down and crime ridden. Burns+Nice’s design was inspired by the historic qualities of the late 19th century form of the central gardens. It introduced new railings and gates, framing the gardens with a sinuous white granite ribbon of seating. Surrounding this is dark granite paving which creates a legible link to the surrounding square. 

Sue Illman, President of the Landscape Institute, said: “Burns+Nice has demonstrated how thoughtful modern design, which is practical and robust in its concept but elegant in its detailing, can not only provide a new type of urban square, but can also demonstrate how improvements to the quality of the environment, can act as a catalyst for change and regeneration. 

Marie Burns, of Burns+Nice, said, We have won a lot of awards for this project, but for us this is the pinnacle, to be recognised by our fellow professionals. It is good that we have won the prize as an independent professional practice – it is good for other similar practices. 

On the same day as the Landscape Institute awards were announced, Leicester Square won the public space category in the International Downtown Association Awards in New York. 

It was a long hard road, all made possible with knowledge and expertise of our late Director colleague Mark Bevan. The prestigious scheme was one of many in the capital where Hardscape were involved and we are extremely proud to have supplied all of the hard landscape materials and bespoke associated features such as the ‘ribbon bench’ to the scheme liaising with both the architects, Burns+Nice, the contractors, SIAC Construction, and the client, Westminster City Council.

Hardscape’s Group Technical Manager, Asil Besim