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Strand Aldwych, London, UK

Michael Grubb Studio were commissioned by Westminster City Council to provide a Lighting Strategy for the historic east/west link of the Strand Aldwych.  Strand derived from the Old English word ‘strond,’ meaning the edge of a river, has been a principal London street since AD 190 and later became a historic processional route from the Palace of Westminster to St Paul’s Cathedral.

Today, Strand Aldwych is a notorious bottleneck for traffic heading from the City into the West End, making it one of the worst affected areas for air pollution. Westminster City Council proposes to invest £28 million to transform its’ poor quality public spaces into an inviting, world-class cultural and learning quarter – with all traffic being removed from the Strand section of the project. Pedestrianizing this section of the Strand will have a significant impact upon the area.

The Lighting Strategy supports the project’s aspirations for the sound of bells, birdsong and bees to fill the space once traffic noise is taken away and allow the richness of the buildings to be appreciated. The lighting will create a safe, attractive and relaxing environment, enhancing the natural landscape. Architectural lighting to illuminate the surrounding buildings of historic and architectural note will provide a dramatic back-drop, whilst the illumination of St Mary-le-Stand Church will place it centre stage.

The Strand Aldwych central location within the Capital, home to Somerset House, King’s College, the Courtauld Galleries, LSE, St Mary-le-Strand Church, St Clement Dane Church and a multitude of theatres and hotels makes it one of the most important re-developments in Central London. It is a critical thoroughfare for many user groups including: students, commuters, people working in and around the area, tourists, visitors and an estimated 14 million theatregoers a year. It’s close proximity to some of London’s key destinations such as Embankment, The River Thames, The British Library, Covent Garden and the Southbank crystallises the project’s significance.


Westminster City Council

Scope of Works

Strategy, Concept Design, Detailed Design

Design Team

WSP, LDA Design, Michael Grubb Studio


London, UK