Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands has been appointed by London developer Native Land to refurbish and extend the iconic headquarters of the London Fire Brigade at Albert Embankment, SE1, including its working fire station, creating a 400,000 sq ft residential-led, mixed-use development.
The project, with a value of £275 million, was the subject of a limited competition involving several developer architect/consultant teams. The winning strategy retains and refurbishes the 1930s riverside building with its working fire station beneath. Also retained is the memorial hall – a particularly poignant piece of Fire Brigade history commemorating those who gave their lives in service. To the north and east of the Embankment building are two new buildings that reach out to either side of the existing practice tower; this arrangement completes a courtyard which is to be a working drill yard visible from the apartments surrounding. Again this builds on the history of the headquarters which, from inception, had a large gallery for visitors to view firemen at their practice sessions.
To the east of this courtyard development is a site currently largely occupied by a single storey garage servicing fire appliances. This is to be replaced by a number of buildings with residential accommodation set above commercial/employment uses. Another smaller site beyond the railway lines is intended for purely residential development.
Alex Lifschutz comments: ‘’Our intention is to create a new, vibrant, neighbourhood drawing on the remarkable history of the area and its long association with the Fire Brigade. There are parallels with our scheme for Oxo Tower Wharf, also centred around an underused riverside building, which has now become a much appreciated piece of London’s urban fabric”
Alasdair Nicholls, Chief Executive at Native Land comments: “We’re delighted to be working with a fine architectural practice in Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands. Its first class track record is well suited to designing a refurbishment scheme to compliment the local area and provide a catalyst for further regeneration.”