1777 – c. 1810
Henry Holland and Henry Holland Jr.
Length Closure Ratio: 1 to 22
Width Closure Ratio: 1 to 5
Greens: 252 ft. x 364 ft (78 m x 111 m); 255 ft. x 915 ft. (78 m x 279m)
Ratio Width to length (Face to Face): 1:4.1
Face to Face: Width: 350 ft. (107 m)
Face to Face: Length 1450+ ft. (442 m)
Av. Height: Hard to determine as heights range from 4 stories and five stories on the east to 17 stories on the north. Approximately 65 feet av. height on the two long faces.
This is one tough square. Aside from climatic benefits, this assemblage is simply too large. Even the width is problematic. With the exception of the park, street, sidewalk and door relationship on the east side, the square ensemble destroys any possible sense of neighborhood or community. Pedestrians feel threatened since cognition of other pedestrians becomes difficult when viewing ranges along the sidewalk exceeds 250 feet.
There are actually two squares. The northern is composed of a garden designed by Repton and 252 feet wide and 362 feet long. The southern was created in 1807 and originally accommodated the Salisbury Botanic Garden, It is a rectangular garden 255 feet wide and 915 feet long. Put together, the face to face dimensions north to south exceed 1400 feet!
The fault here is one of scale. Most of the original fabric was four stories and though the height-width closure ratio was modest at that scale (around 1:5 across the width), the scale was intimate. This is true along most of the east side where the narrow street (26 feet wide) is graced with a fine 7 foot wide sidewalk. Sloane Street, the most important north-south street in the district, is 39 feet wide, and both the width of the street and the high volume of traffic effectively cut the western buildings from any practical connection with the park.
Cadogan and Cadogan Gardens were part of a large 89 acre development scheme conceived in 1771 by the Hollands as a “new town.” The severe fire of 1666 had destroyed much of medieval London, and the distances to the new town allowed a relatively short commute. The development was targeted for moderately sized row houses,
and built on land leased for 99 years from the heirs of Sir Hans Sloane estate which later became part of the Cadogan estate. The model community was marketed under the overall banner of Hans Town and contained over 300 houses by 1791.