Albert Hall piazza plan embraces cafe society: 'Independent' campaign to improve city life has led to a rethink of the pounds 160m 'Albertopolis' scheme. David Lister reports

PLANS for one of London's most exciting developments are being amended to take account of the Independent's pavement cafes campaign.

The pounds 160m 'Albertopolis' scheme plans to link the Royal Albert Hall and Hyde Park by a pedestrian piazza, and then to link all the South Kensington national museums behind the Albert Hall to form a 'centre of knowledge and creativity'. Funds are being sought from the national lottery and the Government's Millennium Fund, though no formal announcement of the proposal or cost has been made yet.

Plans have been drawn up and made known but not yet presented to government or Westminster Council.

However, leading figures behind the proposal have now promised that the plans will be amended in the light of the Independent's two-pronged campaign to enhance city life with more pavement cafes, and to free cultural and historical spaces from parked cars, in some cases replacing them with public art projects.

Patrick Deuchar, chief executive of the Albert Hall, and Professor Anthony Jones, rector of the neighbouring Royal College of Art, said they would be re-examining the detailed plans and making amendments to ensure that the area around the Albert Hall fronting the main road, Kensington Gore, would include pavement cafes as well as having space in front of the Royal College of Art for students' work.

'We will be giving greater emphasis to pavement cafes in the area surrounding the hall, both on the new square linking the hall with Hyde Park and on the basement frontage by Kensington Gore,' Mr Deuchar said.

Museum directors also signalled that they would embrace the campaign. Elizabeth Esteve-Coll, director of the Victoria and Albert Museum, said: 'Enjoying London is about the whole experience, not just individual bits of it, however glorious they may be. The numbers relaxing in the V & A's peaceful garden in the summer attests to that . . . Albertopolis is putting almost as much emphasis on public spaces on the South Kensington site as on the eight great institutions themselves. Where else in the world do you get such a concentration of heritage, arts, science and learning?'

The Albertopolis development, though proposed as one package, has two distinct parts. First, there is the link between the Albert Hall and Royal College of Art to the Albert Memorial and Hyde Park across Kensington Gore via a new raised piazza, costing about pounds 35m.

Drawings seen by the Independent show how the main road would be lowered and Hyde Park linked to the Albert Hall via a wide bridge- style piazza, and how a new basement frontage would be built underneath, jutting out on to Kensington Gore.

Elsewhere on the 100-acre site, the architect, Sir Norman Foster, plans a subterranean mall linking the Science, Natural History and V & A museums; a new Bioprism with a living tropical forest in which environmental issues can be studied; a new glass building on the V & A site showing art and craft in the making, and a new display and public lecture area within Imperial College.

(Photographs omitted)

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Media Telesales Executive

£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Ashdown Group: HR administrator - London - £35,000

£30000 - £35000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Office and HR Administrat...

Recruitment Genius: Middleweight Designer

£25000 - £26500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The On-Site division of the UK'...

Sauce Recruitment: Financial Accountant -Home Entertainment

£200 - £250 per day: Sauce Recruitment: 6 month contract (Initially)A global e...

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project