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A&M reveals £175m Tate Modern neighbour

Allies and Morrison has revealed £175 million plans for St Christopher House, a speculative office development for the developer Land Securities south of Tate Modern in the Bankside area of London.

A complex of three buildings and four public spaces, with pavilions, canopies and bridge links, will replace the single 1950s office block that currently occupies the site on Southwark Street.

The buildings will accommodate 70,000m 2ofoffice space over eight to 11 storeys. At ground level, a double-height public space will include 8,000m 2of shops, cafes, pubs, galleries, health and leisure facilities. There will also be spaces for small businesses, the arts, community and educational uses.

The three buildings are designed as a group - linked by an underlying pattern of glazing and a consistent set of levels - but also as distinct elements. Building 1 is a 'translucent crystal form'and, by contrast, buildings 2 and 3 are more solid and 'sedimentary'.

The buildings have all been twisted on the plan, so that each meets Southwark Street at a different angle. The upper parts of all three buildings are set back to reduce bulk, improve light angles and create a lively skyline.

External window louvres have been arranged in an irregular pattern to create a random distribution of light entering the building.

Terracotta cladding panels on buildings 2 and 3 are set at an angle, in order to vary the views along Southwark Street.

Key to the development is the creation of new routes to link Southwark Street with Tate Modern and the Thames, to 'repair the broken urban grain'. A sequence of public courtyard spaces aims to create 'maximum permeability' across the site and between the buildings.

The scheme aims to promote a new sense of place, with both a strong identity and a coherent relationship with the surrounding area. It has been designed to relate well to future developments planned for Tate Modern and to contribute to the regeneration of the borough.

A planning application has been submitted to Southwark Borough Council and work should begin on site in 2003, with completion due in 2006.

CREDITS DEVELOPER Land Securities ARCHITECT Allies and Morrison DEVELOPMENT CONSULTANT Jones Lang Lasalle PLANNING CONSULTANT Montagu Evans TRAFFIC ENGINEER Scott Wilson SERVICES ENGINEER Roberts and Partners STRUCTURAL ENGINEER Whitby Bird and Partners FACADE ENGINEER Whitby Bird and Partners FIRE ENGINEER SAFE QUANTITY SURVEYOR Davis Langdon & Everest DAYLIGHT AND SUNLIGHT CONSULTANT Delva Patman Associates ENVIRONMENTAL CONSULTANT Environ UK WIND CONSULTANT British Research Establishment COMMUNICATIONS CONSULTANT BSMG Worldwide

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