The long-expected, and at times controversial plans for something to be built on top of Southwark tube station are back.

Southwark station was designed by Sir Richard MacCormac as part of the Jubilee line extension, and as with most tube stations was always intended to have something on top. It’s just taken 20 years to decide what.

A recent suggestion would have seen the tube station’s Holden-inspired rotunda ticket hall rebuilt, and that provoked a lot of anger, so a new design has been provided which will retain that space.

The difficulty for the developer is that while the station was intended to be built on, they now want to build something much larger than was intended, and the foundations for the tube station ticket hall won’t support the larger building.

So while they’ve gone for a lightweight construction, the building was still too heavy, and that’s why it has the distinctive cut-outs in the walls, to reduce the weight of the building.

The Proposed Development comprises a commercial office building, including a mix of retail, food and beverage uses and workspace at the ground and first floor, and public realm improvements above Southwark Station. As part of the works, the pavement on The Cut on the approach to Southwark station will be widened to improve the pedestrian environment and allowing for a dedicated space for cyclists.

A nod to the London Underground exists in the facade, which will be based on the colours of the tube lines.

Where the design is weak though is how the curved entrance of the tube station sits with the more angular design of the building above. The original concept for the oversite development back in the 1990s was for a column that would have matched the station entrance. The office block as proposed has some appealing traits, but the lack of connection with the tube station entrance is a disappointment.

If planning permission is granted, this also has the potential to be one of the first wholly TfL driven property developments. TfL has traditionally worked in partnerships.

The proposals have been enabled by an agreed land exchange with the London Borough of Southwark, which has created the opportunity for the residents of the Styles House Tenant Management Organisation (TMO) to design their own new homes.

The design is by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris (AHMM).

Images from the planning application.

Edited to include some additional information from TfL.


Be the first to know what's on in London, and the latest news published on ianVisits.

You can unsubscribe at any time from my weekly emails.

Tagged with: , , ,

This website has been running now for just over a decade, and while advertising revenue contributes to funding the website, but doesn't cover the costs. That is why I have set up a facility with DonorBox where you can contribute to the costs of the website and time invested in writing and research for the news articles.

It's very similar to the way The Guardian and many smaller websites are now seeking to generate an income in the face of rising costs and declining advertising.

Whether its a one-off donation or a regular giver, every additional support goes a long way to covering the running costs of this website, and keeping you regularly topped up doses of Londony news and facts.

If you like what your read on here, then please support the website here.

Thank you

  1. Joan Boenke says:

    I wonder about the necessity to build ever more high rise properties in London. Will the fact that so many people have successfully worked for home for the past months, due to Covid-19, and some will continue to do so until 2021, result in less office space being needed? It could be that hot-desking will be increased as City – and other London workers – will only attend the office maybe one or two days a week. Perhaps this would result in many offices becoming unwanted and emptier tower blocks that may be converted to accommodation. TFL aren’t being realistic or thinking ahead.

    • ianvisits says:

      TfL – and everyone else investing in offices is thinking ahead, and not just to the next year or two, but decades into the future.

      Remember that most new offices are occupied by people vacating older inefficient offices which are in turn demolished. The net floorspace gain is less than it seems if you only look at new builds and ignore the now empty offices elsewhere waiting to be demolished and replaced with something else.

      Even if London’s population wasn’t growing, and it is, and even with the long-expected trend towards some degree of home-working accelerating, you will still need new offices to be built.

  2. ├ůsa Berg says:

    What is the planning reference?

  3. Mark says:

    Brilliant idea. They need to really make it uptrend and have a good clean up round that area! It is best for everyone.

  4. Uche Mick Chinonso says:

    There are tons of buildings in London that date back to the 1800s. None of these comply with health and safety and are more expensive to refurbish than their values.

Home >> News >> Architecture