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Eye-catching Lipton Plant scheme with semicircular ‘cut out’ approved

  • 4 Comments

Southwark Council has approved Lipton Plant Architects’ radical overhaul of an office block near London’s South Bank

The practice secured planning permission last week for its eye-catching scheme at 50-52 Union Street, which includes a large semicircular cut-out allowing views of a feature stained-glass window at the neighbouring Grade II-listed Roman Catholic Church of the Most Precious Blood.

Despite an objection from the church about the scheme’s impact, planning officers recommended approval.

‘The approach to the design of the development, by way of the retained façade and the novel response to the adjacent listed building, provides an interesting and playful segment of streetscape and an improved setting for the listed church,’ they said in a report to councillors.

Substantial demolition, rebuild and extension work will be required.

Lipton Plant Architects 50-52 Union Street London

Lipton Plant Architects 50-52 Union Street London

Lipton Plant Architects 50-52 Union Street London

The finished five-storey building will provide 167m2 of office space and a two-bedroom flat with a roof terrace.

Lipton Plant Architects said in a statement: ‘From one of the two approaches to the building, it would have acted as a barrier to the church, rendering its grand historic neighbour completely invisible.

‘LPA designed a means to penetrate the natural massing of the building, creating a semicircular void of curved glazed brick, a visual bridge that unites two otherwise divided views and locations, framing the church’s round window.’

Lipton Plant Architects 50-52 Union Street London

Lipton Plant Architects 50-52 Union Street London

Lipton Plant Architects 50-52 Union Street London

  • 4 Comments

Readers' comments (4)

  • Appaling...

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  • Industry Professional

    Oh dear.

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  • *Appealing...
    a bit of naughtiness!

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  • The trouble is, the 'eye catching' carve-out is more likely to draw attention away from the church toward the otherwise terminally bland new office facade.
    Lipton Plant are being 'economical with the actualite' in claiming that the church would otherwise be completely invisible - see 3/4 - and they're obviously fixated on the view of passers-by on Union Street, whereas it's when you go down O'Meara Street that the church is properly visible, together - unfortunately - with the pretentious, superficial gimmickry (the architects' other fixation) of the new concoction next door.
    It seems that the Heatherwick virus is spreading - and the planners should be ashamed of themselves.
    I wonder whether the new building will be 'defiled' by re-fixing the O'Meara Street name - or, as indicated here, it'll have disappeared, as have so many where street corners have been rebuilt in the last few decades.

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