Skip to content

The Urban Landscape in England




Hampton Court


The Property at Hampton Court dates back to 1509 and the palace of Henry VIII. During the period of Charles II ownership (1660-1685) the goosefoot, or patte d’oie (attributed to Andre Mollet) was put into place. The three axes meet at the palace in a semicircular space. The central axis includes a long canal and lime trees lining the length.



Kew, Royal Botanic Gardens


The grounds at Kew are a combination of two 18th century royal estates, one belonging to George II and Queen Caroline (Richmond Gardens), and the other belonging to Frederick, Prince of Wales (Kew House). Previous improvements at Richmond Gardens had been made by Charles Bridgeman and William Kent. In 1760 under the ownership of George III, Kew was re-designed by ‘Capability’ Brown, who removed earlier garden improvements in favor of his interpretation of nature.

In 1757, William Chambers (1723-1796) was asked to provide a new design for the grounds. Chambers influence was seen through his taste for Chinese features – The Pagoda – and his design as an eclectic organization of architectural pieces within the garden.

In 1759 Kew began its increased role as a Botanic collection. In 1838 a committee recommended the development of Kew into “a scientific and horticultural institution worthy of the nation,” additional glass houses were built and the garden underwent other changes.

Scientific institution. Rev. William Turner (c. 1510 – 1568) ‘Father’ of English botany had a garden at Kew. Mid 17th century a house known as Kew House and as White House belonging to Richard Bennett. Bennett’s daughter married Sir Henry Capel, subsequently Lord Capel, the daughter died 1721, property became Sir Henry Capel’s.

Capel – by many accounts a famous gardener cultivated fruit (including oranges) pioneered greenhouse building, plated a myrtetum (myrtles) and collected flowering and evergreen shrubs.

Property (after Bennetts death) to his great-niece and husband Samuel Molyneux he converted east wing of Kew House to observatory. 1730 – Both Molyneux’s dead, Kew House occupied by Frederick, Prince of Wales. 1730 – Acquired the services of William Kent to lay out the grounds.

John Nash

Regent Park

Regent Street – – St. James Park

John Nash and Prince Regent were responsible for the design of London’s major boulevard, named Regent Street. The intention of Regent Street was to connect two royal palaces – Carlton House and a new palace to be located in Marylebone Park (later, Regent Park). The new palace was to be “A public building to receive the statues and monuments of great and distinguished men.”

Regent Street was a ceremonial street lined with high priced retail shops, where promenading and expensive shopping took place on an elegant architectural stage.

Carlton House was removed shortly after the building of Regent Street, and the new palace in Regent Park was never built. After the destruction of the Carlton House, the Duke of York’s column was put in its place. The connection that Regent Street now made was from Regent Park to St. James Park. Despite the fact that two features that were meant to be connected by Regent Street were never built, the street was still a very successful endeavor. Regent Street was designed as a unified architectural space, and unlike the boulevards of Paris, it was not straight. The curves and turns provided for a sequence of varied experiences along the length of Regent Street.

Regent Street served a number of purposes that foreshadowed changes to come in many urban centers:

Regent Street incorporated sewer improvements from Regent Park to the city main near St. James Park.

Regent Street opened up the center of London for light and clean air.

It replaced neighborhoods of “unhealthy” nature.

It enhanced economic value and retail sales.

It created a north-south connection for traffic, easing the congestion of the city.

It increased property values of adjacent land holdings.

Regent Park


Metro improvements were associated with Regent Park. The outer ring drive-remnant of Brownian ideas.

The initial design of Regent Park was as a residential suburb for the very rich, fifty private home sites within the park landscape. Each of the 50 home sites was designed to feel as if the entire park was its own. In 1825, due to a crash in the credit market, John Nash’s plan for 50 elaborate homes in Regent Park was dropped.

In 1838, Regent Park was opened to the public. The evolution of the park came to include Villa buildings in a park of walks, flower gardens, a lake, recreation areas, and botanical and zoological gardens.

St. James Park


St. James Park has a long history as a royal park, starting with Charles II who had put in place a design for the park by Andre Mollet.

During the reign of George IV, between 1820 and 1830, John Nash re-designed the park. At the time of his employment at St. James Park, the site was a bare tract of land with a canal running down the middle of it. The existing park structure had no clear relationship to Buckingham House (later Buckingham Palace) or any of the other adjacent spaces.

Nash created a park in picturesque style with a lake formed from the canal focused on Buckingham House. The new vision for the park also included a grand bridge crossing the lake, and trees composed to come together in a painterly fashion.

Leave a Comment

Contact CSU Equal Opportunity Privacy Statement Disclaimer

2018 Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado 80523 USA