William Street, Knightsbridge

Celebrating a landscape legacy
Celebrating Lady Morgan's 1809 green legacy for public access to green space.

William Street is located opposite Albert Gate Hyde Park in the centre of Knightsbridge London. The area is rich in history and the River Westbourne (one of London’s hidden rivers) is directly located underneath the street, which was partially dammed in 1730 to create Hyde Park’s Serpentine lake. The historic crossing over the River Westbourne, was called the ‘Knight’s Bridge’, and is likely to have given the area its name.

In 1838 Sir Charles Morgan and Lady Morgan took up residence in a new house at number 11 William Street. Lady Morgan recognised the health and wellbeing benefits of views to the green space of Hyde Park and successfully petitioned the Queen for the creation of a gate opposite William Street to allow greater public access to the park. In the early 1840s Albert Gate was built by William Cubitt, an advocate for open public space, and the River Westbourne was culverted.

The proposals aim to build upon this legacy, to deliver a high-quality public realm with increased green infrastructure and improved accessibility for pedestrians and cyclists. Routing a defined 2-way cycle path through the space, was a requirement of the design. William Street is strategically important to a network of green spaces and streetscapes linking from Sloane Square to Hyde Park, which allows a series of green infrastructure and accessible walking routes.

The site is located partially within the Albert Gate Conservation area and bordering the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster City Council.
To create an area of public realm for all to use, a raised surface was implemented, with a common palette of materials and subtle delineation using public realm features and paving finishes rather than road markings to provide the character of a shared space.

New street trees of Liquidambar and a series of biodiverse planting beds are also introduced to provide a pleasant outlook for café users, cyclists and pedestrians.

William Street, Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea, London


APML Estate
(Adopted by City of Westminster)


Landscape and Public Realm Design
Concept to Tender, Construction monitoring


Architect: Dixon Jones
Structural & Civil Engineers: WSP
Project Manager: Blue Sky Building