Sloane Street’s transformation begins – a new film by Wallpaper* explores how London’s most luxurious street will look after its spectacular makeover
Set to be the most significant streetscape improvements since it was originally commissioned by the 1st Earl Cadogan in the 18th century, the Sloane Street project – funded by Cadogan and delivered in partnership with Kensington and Chelsea Council – will transform and enhance this vibrant neighbourhood and globally renowned home of luxury retail.
As highlighted by Wallpaper*, the enhancement will create a stunning green boulevard spanning from Knightsbridge to Sloane Square, due for completion at the end of 2024. The £46 million investment includes significant widening of the Street’s pavements, along with a magnificent planting scheme, elegant street furniture and enhanced lighting while subtly ‘designing in’ additional security measures, to create a more welcoming environment for pedestrians.
London architects John McAslan + Partners, whose recent work includes the transformation of King’s Cross Station, are leading on the public realm masterplan and the landscape, with planting overseen by multiple Chelsea Flower Show winner, Andy Sturgeon, who will follow a ‘royal’ colour palette of rich maroons, reds, purples and blues for the diverse and climate resilient mix of flowers, shrubs and over 100 new trees.
Heritage detailing and craftmanship
Artisan craftsmanship, quality materials and heritage detailing will further enrich the Street’s unique character. This includes the use of traditional York Stone and silver-grey granite to expand the pavements by more than 20%, improved dual-height lighting to complement the distinctive architecture (which spans a range of styles from original Georgian to Pont Street Dutch and mid-century modern) and new street furniture, including lampposts with cast-iron embellishments inspired by ‘temple to the arts and crafts’ Holy Trinity Church on Sloane Street.
A cleaner, greener and more beautiful Street
Traffic calming measures, way finders and increased crossing points will be introduced to help visitors navigate the area, enhancing their experience and reducing speeds. In-depth traffic modelling has ensured that vehicular flow will not be impacted.
With the project’s partners committed to a more sustainable future, the whole life of the scheme is designed to be ultra-low carbon impact. In addition to the significant planting on the Street, a newly cultivated ‘pocket forest’ (created in a partnership between Cadogan and Louis Vuitton) extends the greening; beehives and ponds in Cadogan Place Gardens encourage biodiversity; and new waste collection bikes are taking trucks off the road and further supporting the improvement of local air quality.
Luxury retail and hospitality investment
The public realm works will enhance the Street’s power and timeless appeal as a luxury destination for visitors who wish to wander and enjoy the ultimate luxury moment and experience. Brands continue to choose Sloane Street as their favoured location, with major recent investment made from many of the luxury houses on the Street – including the new Emilia Wickstead, Diptyque and Anya Hindmarch flagships which opened recently, alongside upcoming significant upsizes from Christian Dior, Louis Vuitton, Bottega Venetta and Valentino, who will be opening a spectacular new townhouse in 2024.
Furthermore, following the creation of Pavilion Road which was a significant step in bringing increased vitality and vibrancy to the area, Cadogan is focusing on introducing enticing new places to eat and drink, including the restoration of the historic Belmond Cadogan Hotel, the recent opening of The Beaverbrook Town House and extensive new restaurant space to the Street. Further new restaurants will open on the Street this year, including Cantinetta Antinori (the first UK restaurant from famed Italian winemaking Antinori family) opening late spring.
Hugh Seaborn, CEO of Cadogan, comments: “These works will strengthen Sloane Street’s position as a global destination for luxury retail and create an even more desirable environment for local residents and businesses – creating a more beautiful, inspiring, greener, cleaner and better-connected environment. As the majority, long-term landowner on Sloane Street, we have a dedicated objective and responsibility – to protect the area’s historical significance but also ensure it is one of the world’s most elegant and desirable luxury shopping destinations.”
Cllr Elizabeth Campbell, Leader of Kensington and Chelsea Council said: “Sloane Street is already a world-famous shopping destination, contributing hugely to the economy. The thing that makes it different from other luxury shopping destinations in London is that it is also at the heart of a local neighbourhood and as a council we are making our borough greener, safer and fairer for everyone that lives and works here, as well as our many visitors. This partnership to create a greener street and safer environment for pedestrians will make Sloane Street another amazing space in Kensington and Chelsea.”
Andy Sturgeon, garden designer, said, “The planting draws the historic gardens out along the Street to create a more uplifting atmosphere and visually rich environment. It will reflect and enhance the sumptuous, multi-layered experience found in the beautiful stores and help to reduce airborne pollutants. The planting has a ‘Royal’ colour palette, appropriate at the heart of the Royal Borough and during the Coronation year.”
John McAslan, Chairman of John McAslan + Partners, said, “We are delighted to be collaborating with Cadogan and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea on this exciting and innovative streetscape project. It enhances the character and quality of this iconic thoroughfare. By introducing visual clarity, emphasising the priority of pedestrians and specifying high quality horticulture, new street furniture and additional trees, it will offer residents, visitors and businesses a transformed and environmentally improved urban experience”.
The project was approved by RBKC in 2019 following extensive public consultation, but the start of works was delayed due to Covid-19. Following utilities diversion work in autumn 2022, major works on the 1km street have just begun, with this transformation set to complete by end 2024.