St James's Market: A Case of Public Space | St James's London


St James's Market: A Case of Public Space

Meet the artists and designers who turned St James’s Market from forgotten streets to a paved paradise.

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St James’s Market, the first creation of public space in London in over fifty years, is a huge triumph for the pedestrian. Created from side streets between Regent Street and Haymarket, with St James’s Market we are, quite literally, taking back the streets. But what happens when you reclaim the old taxi rat-run? When the shortcut is cut off? How do we fold these once busy streets back into our local life? One answer, is art. 

Importantly, the public square is designed for a different way of life. For a holidaying pace, where we meander and start to notice the small things – an old bit of shop signage never seen before, or the blooming spectacular hanging baskets outside the pub. Here, you take a seat, order a drink, and start to slump, relax. You listen to the chatter of other tables, and music from open-windowed cars builds and fades as they drive by. Was that even birdsong? 

The Crown Estate too began to imagine this very scenario, of a new public square for St James’s. It was time to embrace vibrancy. To stitch that youth, vim and pep with St James’s notoriously high standard and love of the one-off. Before the launch of its seven restaurants St James’s Market unveiled an ambitious art programme curated by cultural destination-makers Futurecity, designed to turn old streets into a paved paradise – to slow you down, and make you stop, stand and stare. We meet the incredible artists and studios taking part, who tell us how their work’s details reveal St James’s Market’s surprising stories. 

Visit the St James's Market Pavilion! Open daily from 8AM to 7PM.