A new lease of life

Tuesday 03 Apr 2012

£600m to be put into revamping Waterloo

Plans are to be submitted this week to the London Borough of Lambeth for the complete redevelopment of Elizabeth House, adjacent to London's Waterloo Station, as well as the surrounding area.

It is to be designed by Sir David Chipperfield, a former Stirling Prize winner and the recipient of the 2011 Royal Gold Medal by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). The appointment is David Chipperfield Architects' first major development in London and they will be joined by urban planners at West 8 for landscaping design. The proposals represent the integration of three concepts: fitting into the townscape of the South Bank; a new face for Waterloo station; and a series of public realm spaces that reconnect previously disparate areas at the heart of Waterloo.

It is hoped that Waterloo can be transformed into a modern new business location and exceptional new public realm around London's busiest mainline station. There will be an access point for the South Bank which receives 22 million visitors a year as Europe's largest cultural quarter, the London Eye which receives 3.5 million and St Thomas's Hospital with 5 million. This will also enable future redevelopment of the former International Terminal to create further access to the station.  

Central to the plans is the creation of Victory Arch Square, a new seamless, step-free public space in front of the station that is part of 10,000 sq m of new public realm running the length of the site from Victory Arch to Leake Street, connecting to York Road.  A new double-height, glass-fronted gallery space will run along York Road - open to the public with sofas, small retail kiosks and wi-fi - to provide a ‘front room' in the heart of Waterloo. This calm space will also host exhibitions and artwork to bring some of Waterloo's cultural heritage closer to the station. Chipperfield says: "Our task is to develop a piece of city that inscribes itself into a very complex site where our responsibility is not only to design a building but above all to transform the public realm surrounding the station."

Two new buildings will sit along York Road creating a new business district. The area has seen jobs falling in recent years, but new modern office floorplates should attract international business back to Waterloo. Space will be created for up to 8,500 jobs on site and inject a £12m annual economic boost to local shops and services. 

The North building is a calm, elegant, stacked architectural form, 29 storeys tall with new office space on 12 floors and 142 new homes across 15 floors above. The South building is 10 storeys tall with small shops and cafes at ground floor and office space above.  In total the planning application seeks permission for a total of 132,100 sq m of development, including 85,700 sq m of new commercial floorspace.

Elizabeth House is to be developed and managed by a partnership between Chelsfield and London & Regional Properties Limited. Both developers have worked extensively in London and have a wealth of experience.

Dami Babalola

Key Facts:

Want to submit your project to World Architecture News?

Contact The Team