Paddington Central Amphitheatre

London, UK

The Reimagined Paddington Central Amphitheatre
Title:Paddington Central Amphitheatre, London, UK
Markets:Public Realm, Parks and Green Spaces
Client:British Land
Services:Landscape architecture
Region:United Kingdom
Team:Gillespies, Feix & Merlin, Adam Nathaniel Furman, Davis Maguire Services, Ramboll, Spiers Major, Waterscapes, Fountain Workshop and Fountains and Features, CPC and Equals
Photography:Andrew Boyd Studio; Gareth Gardner
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At the heart of Paddington Central, an 11-acre mixed-use campus in Paddington by British Land, stands a new focal point — the Paddington Central Amphitheatre.

Formerly known as Sheldon Square, the revitalised Amphitheatre, envisioned by Gillespies, pays homage to Sidell Gibson's original 00s design. While honouring its architectural roots, the Amphitheatre introduces a modern design language, fostering inclusivity, and celebrating the symbiotic relationship between people and plants.

The classic curved Amphitheatre has been replaced with undulating concrete seating reminiscent of gentle waves. This redesign markedly increases seating capacity and creates more room for performances and events. The enhancements include wider terraces, new slopes to the performance area, a captivating cascading water feature, a 50-m-long permanent art installation by Adam Nathaniel Furman, enhanced shop fronts, new lighting and a diverse array of over 40 perennial plant species. Together, these elements enhance accessibility and elevate the once-grey urban space into a sensory-rich, playful, immersive environment.

Preserving the existing 12 lime trees above the Amphitheatre and introducing 8 new trees along with 160 sqm of biodiverse flora marks a substantial stride towards forging a greener and more sustainable future for Paddington. Beyond supporting pollinators, curbing pollution, and enhancing air quality, this initiative significantly boosts biodiversity and fortifies resilience against climate change.

The specification of eco-friendly concrete has contributed to an impressive 79% reduction in embodied carbon.

The Amphitheatre is a world-class al fresco destination where people can gather, relax and enjoy culture, music, and entertainment events.