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Renzo Piano unveils office plans as new wave of London Bridge schemes emerges

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Renzo Piano Building Workshop (RPBW) has unveiled new designs for a retail and office block within the emerging development hot-spot next to London Bridge Station

The practice has teamed up again with Shard developer Sellar for the scheme, which is planned for a warehouse building on the corner of Bermondsey Street and Snowsfield.

A planning application is expected to be submitted to Southwark Council later this month for the RPBW scheme, which sets up a new pedestrian route from Bermondsey Street to the top of Weston Street.

The project is part of the wider St Thomas Street East Framework, a ’co-ordinated approach’ by for four landowners – Greystar, Columbia Threadneedle, CIT and Sellar – rather than part of the formal planning process. 

The framework approach is backed by Southwark Council, which wants to see design principles and a ‘social regeneration charter’ across the different sites and efforts made to connect the south of the borough with the station.

It includes the redevelopment of 1980s office block Becket House on St Thomas Street by Columbia Threadneedle for a new commercial scheme, which is being overseen by architects Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands.

Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands' designs for the Columbia Threadneedle's redevelopment of Becket House

Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands’ designs for the Columbia Threadneedle’s redevelopment of Becket House

Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands’ designs for the Columbia Threadneedle’s redevelopment of Becket House

It also includes plans for the redevelopment of neighbouring office block Capital House, opposite the Shard, the site where SPPARC Architecture’s controversial Quill student accommodation skyscraper was approved in 2010 but never built.

KPF Architects has now designed a 39-storey tower with an ’origami-style’ façade for developer Greystar on the Weston Street site, currently being considered by Southwark Council.

Amendments to the original plans for the student accommodation tower – which include the demolition of office block Capital House – were submitted last week, reducing the tower from its original height of 45 storeys. 

Proposals are also being drawn up for the former car park site, known as Vinegar Yard, which is being developed by CIT with architects KPF. 

A spokesperson for the St Thomas Street East framework said: ’Investment here will connect the economic and social life of local communities, consolidate the Low Line and knit London Bridge Station and the commercial district to the north into the rich character of Old Bermondsey to the south.

’Just as important, we are developing a joint plan for social and economic regeneration, with commitments to create a place for culture, jobs and opportunity, to bring people together and improve local health and wellbeing.’

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Readers' comments (2)

  • Phil Parker

    Renzo’s designs are calm, collected, considered.

    KPF’s designs are the reverse.

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  • Industry Professional

    Sorry Phil, Renzos scheme looks c--p, KPF's is contrived (unless they can show that the apparently random projections are actually efficient solar shading) and LDS's scheme seems heavily derivative of Owen Williams but is better than their previous Po Mo option. None of them are going to make much of a positive contribution to Southwark except that for all their faults, they replace existing buildings and semi derelict spaces that are even worse

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