The Kensington / Zaha Hadid Design


© Luke Hayes

© Luke Hayes

Architects: Zaha Hadid Architects
Location: W Cromwell Rd, London, United Kingdom
Design : Zaha Hadid with Patrik Schumacher
Project Director: Melodie Leung
Project Architect: Carine Posner
Project Team: Evgeniya Yatsyuk, Ovidiu Mihutescu, Natassa Lianou, Saman Dadgostar
Project Year: 2018
Photographs: Luke Hayes

Project Management: JCDecaux
Contract Administration + Quantity Surveyor: Lavingtons
Structure: Buro Happold Engineering
Civil Engineering: Buro Happold Engineering
Mep: Hoare Lea
Lighting: Buro Happold Engineering
Landscape Design: MRG Studio
Principal Designer: Orsa Projects
Principal Contractor: Knight Brown Construction


Courtesy of JCDecaux

Courtesy of JCDecaux

Text description provided by the architects. JCDecaux invited Zaha Hadid Design to redefine the design language of billboards – providing a unique communications channel in the capital that integrates contemporary design and digital media.


© Luke Hayes

© Luke Hayes

Established in France in 1964, JCDecaux transformed the concept of street furniture and invented the concept of bus shelter provision funded by advertising. Today, JCDecaux provides a range of products and services free of charge to cities and transport authorities across the world, all paid for through advertising. Developed for the benefit of cities, their inhabitants and visitors, these services include bus shelters, street lighting, public benches, toilets, bins, Wi-Fi hotspots, mobile device charging stations and interactive wayfinding screens that provide practical everyday assistance. In 2003, JCDecaux introduced one of the world’s first self-service public bicycle hire schemes – Cyclocity – in Vienna. Public bicycles, funded by advertising revenue, are now available 700 cities in over 50 countries.


© Luke Hayes

© Luke Hayes

JCDecaux ensures that their services adapt to society’s changing needs with ongoing integration of technology solutions and the introduction of smarter, greener services and products equipped with photovoltaic panels, green roofs, USB chargers and digital information screens providing real-time and localised information.


© Luke Hayes

© Luke Hayes

Combining innovative digital screen technology with a double-ribbon of matt stainless steel framing a curved digital screen, The Kensington is located on West Cromwell Road and is the first billboard by Zaha Hadid Design.


Courtesy of JCDecaux

Courtesy of JCDecaux

“Both a civic gesture and a promotional medium, the intertwined, looped ribbon design expresses the dynamism of pedestrian and vehicle traffic movements that intersect at this important London junction. The stainless steel ribbon twists as it encircles the screen, defining a varying silhouette when seen from different viewpoints,” said Melodie Leung, senior associate at Zaha Hadid Design.


© Luke Hayes

© Luke Hayes

“It will be fascinating to see how brands respond to this sculptural digital canvas. This has been a unique collaboration with JCDecaux to develop new possibilities for media platforms; reimagining the billboard as public art,” continued Leung.

“Design is at the heart of JCDecaux’s DNA, and we are proud to have worked in partnership with Zaha Hadid Design to bring this exceptional vision for a contemporary advertising structure to London. This project underlines how JCDecaux works with the world’s leading designers to transform cityscapes for the benefit of the public and advertising clients,” said Spencer Berwin Co-Ceo of JCDecaux.


© Luke Hayes

© Luke Hayes

The Kensington’s high resolution 8mm pixel pitch screen (26 x 6 metres) will provide visibility and maximum quality of display for brands, framed by the (30 x 9 metres) steel structure.

Set in an area that has been landscaped to enhance the local environment with the planting of trees and greenery, The Kensington features integrated lighting that increase visibility for pedestrians.

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