Windrush extravaganza opens new square
Windrush Square opened on Saturday 27 February 2010.
Hundreds of people celebrated the square's opening and watched live music and performances and a lantern-lit procession by local children. This is the first of many community events to take place in this new space at the heart of Brixton.
Activities included live music performances, dance demonstrations and family art workshops. There were also stalls by Spacemakers, Brixton Village and the Brixton Pound. The event concluded with a lantern-lit procession led by local school children and a magnificent Phoenix.
Works on the square
The new Windrush Square joins the existing Tate Gardens and Windrush Square as a pedestrianised open space.
Works to the square is part of a wider programme which has seen the one-way system around St Matthew's Church removed and Brixton Hill widened to accommodate more two-way traffic. Consultation showed that the public wanted Effra Road to remain open and it will continue to be open to local traffic. For more information call 0845 305 1234.
See photos of the Windrush Square development on Flickr.
Naming the square
Local residents, businesses and organisations were asked to help chose a name for the new square and Windrush Square has emerged as the popular choice.
The name commemorates the arrival of the Empire Windrush from Jamaica on 22 June 1948. The ship docked at Tilbury from the Caribbean carrying 492 immigrants and, for many, symbolises the beginnings of modern British multicultural society.
The Henry Tate statue and Sharpeville massacre plaque are important and will remain in the square but will be temporarily moved to be cleaned and in the case of the statue repositioned for prominence. A new plaque will also be included in the design of the new square.
Designing the square
The new square in the heart of Brixton will provide a focal point for the town centre and a much-needed venue for community events, with potentially a new cafe and public toilets.
The redevelopment, which follows several years of consultation, has been designed with safety in mind and includes improved lighting, better sightlines and CCTV coverage.
Other design features include:
- high quality landscaping and surfacing
- sculpted granite seating
- cycle stands
- wider crossing points for safer access to the square
- a new water feature
- innovative feature lighting
- 21 new trees, to add to the existing London plane tree.
The project aims to create a safe, high-quality public space reflecting our unique and diverse community. This is a joint project between Lambeth Council, Transport for London (TfL), Design for London and the local community.