Allford Hall Monaghan Morris (AHMM) has revealed its initial plans for Elizabeth House near London’s Waterloo Station – a set of all-new proposals which replace abandoned designs drawn up by David Chipperfield Architects for the 1965 block
Developer HB Reavis chose AHMM to rework Chipperfield’s consented plans for the site in York Road ahead of Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, BIG and WilkinsonEyre last December (AJ 13.12.17).
The Slovakian-based property company had also talked to David Chipperfield Architects, which in 2014 had won permission for a contentious 29-storey tower on the plot following a lengthy planning process.
Chipperfield’s controversial scheme, approved by Lambeth Council, included 132,000m² of new space, including 142 new homes and a range of office and retail units.
According to AHMM’s outline vision, which went out to public consultation this weekend (14 July), the office-led plans would be ’of a similar height to the existing planning permission for the site while delivering much-improved public realm and local connections’.
The design, its is claimed, will celebrate the ‘architecture of engineering’, improve access to Waterloo Station and create a major new square called Victory Arch Square and a garden promenade.
There are also proposals for a so-called Waterloo Curve, a new pedestrian street lined with shops and cafés linking the new Victory Arch Square to Leake Street.
In addtition, the out-to-consultation concepts feature a ’bustling and vibrant Big Hall’, filled with shops and restaurants. AHMM is working with structural and civil engineers Robert Bird Group on the scheme.
HB Reavis, which bought the plot for around £85 million from London & Regional and Chelsfield in 2017, said the revised proposals have been driven by ‘considerable’ changes to the local context over the last six years.
The developer claims a ’number of local developments coming forward’ would ‘greatly affect Elizabeth House’s relationship to the local built environment’ including Transport for London (TfL) and Lambeth Council’s proposals to transform the public realm at the Waterloo Gyratory and proposals for new shops at the Waterloo International Terminal.
David Chipperfield spent nearly four years winning permission for its proposed two new buildings, one part 29-storey and part 14-storey, and another of 11 storeys.
The practice won the commission in 2010, submitted its application in 2012 and secured its final approvals two years later after English Heritage and Westminster City Council lost a High Court bid to stop the scheme.
In early 2015 communities secretary Eric Pickles decided not to call in the proposals, but the designs were never progressed.