Lambeth Council has unanimously approved plans by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris (AHMM) to redevelop Elizabeth House – a 1960s office block next to Waterloo Station – replacing designs by David Chipperfield Architects
Chipperfield’s scheme was given the green light in 2014 but never taken forward. An even earlier scheme by Allies and Morrison was thrown out by the government in 2009.
AHMM’s 111,484m² office project, for developer HB Reavis, includes new public space connecting Waterloo Station with the South Bank and a ‘garden promenade’ accessed from the station concourse.
It also features Waterloo Curve, a new pedestrian street lined with shops and cafés, which will link Elizabeth House with the transport hub.
The plans aim to provide more space for Waterloo Station, the UK’s busiest station, which will soon to be used for 130 million passenger journeys a year. The existing buildings on the site, including John Poulson’s 1960 Elizabeth House, will be flattened.
The buildings are expected to be a similar height that stipulated in the existing planning permission for the site, ranging between 31 storeys and 13 storeys.
Spot the difference: AHMM’s Elizabeth House scheme - (left) as first revealed in December 2018 and (right) as approved October 2019
Chipperfield’s controversial scheme, approved by Lambeth Council in 2014, included two new buildings, one part 29-storey and part 14-storey, and another of 11 storeys. Five years previously communities secretary John Denham had thrown out £1 billion proposals for the site by Allies and Morrison, known as the Three Sisters scheme.
When HB Reavis bought the site in 2017, it decided to replace proposed residential with offices and held a new design competition for the site.
AHMM took over the project in December 2017, a move that ended Chipperfield’s seven-year involvement with the site. The practice is working with structural engineer Robert Bird Group on the scheme.
Speaking after the decision, HB Reavis’s development director Kiran Pawar said the scheme would bring with it a ’£100 million package of public benefits … including the provision of affordable workspace and major public realm improvements around Waterloo Station’.
Construction is expected to start on site in 2020.
The existing Elizabeth House building in Waterloo