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Southwark Underground ticket hall set for reprieve?

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MJP Architects’ 1999 Southwark Underground Station ticket office could be spared demolition after it emerged that the proposed over-site development may not be as substantial as first feared

Concerns about the future of the circular ticket hall in south London were raised earlier this year when the building was turned down for listing – a decision which potentially paved the way for a major redevelopment of the plot.

These fears escalated when early feasibility proposals were uncovered, showing that Transport for London – together with its development partner U+I and architect AHMM – had considered plans for a 30-storey block above the Underground station entrance. 

Although the ticket hall was always intended to be built over, the original design team led by the late Richard MacCormac’s practice had only envisaged a scheme of up to 11 storeys.

The existing foundations below the ticket hall – one of a series of stations built by big-name architects for the Jubilee Line extension in the late 1990s – would not be able to support such a huge development and the structure would have to be flattened.

However in a new twist, it has emerged that TfL now wants to purchase the site from its owner, Development Securities (Investment Ventures), so it can deliver a 15,000m² office-led development. The organisation’s finance committee will be asked to consider this move next week (27 September). 

It is understood TfL want this scheme to be similar in height to its neighbouring offices in the Alsop & Stormer-designed Palestra building, which has 12 floors, and that the plans would ’preserve and protect the iconic elements of the station’.

The AJ has also learned that TfL is keen to talk to MJP Architects about the future of the ticket hall as the plans progress.

Graeme Craig, director for Commercial Development at TfL said: ‘Our proposals for an over-station development at Southwark Tube station include office, retail and cultural space. In order to start this process, we first need to acquire a portion of land and are seeking approval from the TfL Finance Committee.

‘Any changes would preserve and protect the iconic elements of the station and would sensitively consider the impact on the local area. We would also publicly consult before any final decision on the design is made.’

Responding to the news, Henrietta Billings, director at SAVE Britain’s Heritage said: ‘If TfL can keep the rotunda entrance and ticket hall at Southwark intact as part of any revised plans for this award-winning station, this would be a major step forward.’

 Mjp southwark underground ticket hall

Mjp southwark underground ticket hall

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Readers' comments (1)

  • And not a word from the planning authority? - or had they considered that the impact of the loss of the rotunda entrance and ticket hall, and jump from 11 to 30 storeys, was no concern of theirs, as the mighty TfL was not to be defied, the Department for Kulcha Medja n'Sport couldn't be bothered, and even if people had complained to Prince Charles he wasn't likely to defend a carbuncle?

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