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Pilbrow & Partners’ designs for London Fire Brigade HQ overhaul approved

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Pilbrow & Partners’ designs for a revamp of London Fire Brigade’s HQ on the Albert Embankment have been given the green light

The proposals, which replace an earlier rejected scheme by Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands (LDS), were approved by Lambeth Council’s planning committee on Tuesday evening (3 December).

The plans, drawn up for developer U+I, will re-provide a ‘modern’ 2,203m² fire station at the Grade II-listed 1937 riverfront base in Lambeth, along with 417 new homes.

The 1.06ha site has been divided up into three plots for the scheme, which will reach up to 26 storeys in height and includes 10,809m² of office and work space, a 200-bed hotel and new public space.

It is the second attempt by the London Fire Brigade to redevelop its base, following the rejection in 2011 of the scheme designed by LDS for developer Native Land (pictured below).

Dismissed by Lambeth Council because of concerns over scale and impact on the daylight of neighbouring properties, the Native Land scheme also failed to win a subsequent appeal to the planning inspectorate.

According to a design statement provided by Pilbrow & Partners for the new scheme, its approach was informed by ’improved levels of natural light’.

The proposals for the first parcel of land, the West Site, include a single-storey glazed extension of the listed fire station to provide a rooftop restaurant, which will connect via a footbridge to a new 200-bed hotel.

This plot will also contain the new fire station along with 95 homes, while the LFB is also seeking permission to change the building’s ground floor and basement for use as a permanent home for the London Fire Brigade Museum.

The central site, meanwhile, will comprise four buildings ranging from five to 26 storeys, delivering office and workspace units, a gym, flexible retail and up to 292 residential units.

An 11-storey building with a further 30 homes and ground-floor retail units is proposed for the east site. 

Speaking after the decision, Karen McCormick from U+I, said: ’This is a big step towards the transformation of 8 Albert Embankment, where new homes, workspaces and public spaces will regenerate a public site that has mostly lain vacant for 10 years.

’The development will have a contemporary fire station at its heart as well as a permanent London Fire Brigade Museum. The museum will be an important educational centre and will provide a world-class collection which tells the story of firefighting from the Great Fire of London to the present day.’

Lds albert embankment london fire brigade

REJECTED: Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands’ proposals for London Fire Brigade HQ on Albert Embankment

REJECTED: Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands’ proposals for London Fire Brigade HQ on Albert Embankment

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