More than 20 years after it opened, Southwark tube station is to get the over-site development it was built for, although not the one it was designed for.
Southwark station was designed by Sir Richard MacCormac as part of the Jubilee line extension, and had been suggested to have a tall circular tower on top. Instead, a considerably larger office block has been approved by Southwark Council which reflects the changes in the area which was very low rise when the station was first built.
The new 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.
The seventeen-storey hybrid timber building has been designed by architects, Allford Hall Monaghan Morris, and will be one of the tallest hybrid timber towers in the UK when completed. The hybrid construction method reduces the weight of the building, which was a necessary requirement as it would otherwise have been heavier than the tube station’s foundations were designed to carry.
In a first, the building is also designed to extract waste heat directly from the tube station below to help heat it and minimise its energy consumption.
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.
The building is due to be completed in around four years time.
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.