Developer Southwark Square Ltd has innovative plans for London’s Southwark Street revival. Multipurpose complex Gagarin Square aims to bring an enhanced cultural and educational experience to Bankside and the Borough of Southwark by introducing a new theatre, rehearsal studios, observatory, exhibition space, restaurant/café, public terrace and commercial space, all in one location.
Gagarin Square’s vision has been inspired by the continued popularity and success of Southwark Street’s Menier Chocolate Factory theatre, located next door to where the multipurpose complex aims to be built. The theatre is run by David Babani, one of London’s most successful producers.
Gagarin Square also aspires to bring novelty to London’s developing skyline. The structure has been meticulously designed by renowned Russian architect Nikita Yaveyn of St Petersburg’s architectural practice, Studio 44. The design embodies Russian architectural influences and is a direct tribute to Yuri Gagarin and Soviet/Russian cosmonaut whose accomplishments are showcased by the development’s centrepiece rocket-like structure, Gagarin Tower (representative of the Vostok 1).
Donald Riley, director at Southwark Square Ltd and development director for Gagarin Square, comments: “This is the perfect time to tap into Southwark Street’s multifaceted potential. Artistic director David Babani has been exceptionally successful with our Menier Chocolate Factory theatre, hidden behind a Victorian warehouse exterior. Gagarin Square’s façade will be as magnetic as those of past cinemas of the Old Kent Road. By bringing bold and striking architecture to London’s skyline, Gagarin Square will raise Southwark Street’s profile and halve the distance to the new “Elephant”. It will boost the capital’s economy by attracting tourists, avid theatre goers, not to mention further investment in commercial and residential property for miles beyond.”
Southwark Square Ltd’s Gagarin Square is currently subject to a planning appeal.