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TfL seeks architects for London Underground HQ homes conversion

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Transport for London has launched its tender to transform London Underground’s Grade I-listed headquarters at 55 Broadway into homes

TfL said staff are due to leave 55 Broadway in 2015 now that the building, located above St James’s Park tube station, is ‘no longer fit for purpose’ as an efficient office location.

The building was designed by Charles Holden and built between 1927 and 1929 and has been London Underground’s iconic headquarters for more than 80 years.

TfL considered potential office and hotel developments before plumping for a residential scheme, which it said would ‘not only deliver the best value for fare and taxpayers, but it would also be the most suitable option for the Grade I listed building to maintain its internal and external heritage’. The tender is valued at £8.5million.

Mike Brown, managing director, London Underground and London Rail at TfL, added: ‘We take our responsibilities for our heritage assets extremely seriously.

‘We also have a responsibility to fare and taxpayers to make sure that any redevelopment of 55 Broadway is a commercial success, with all proceeds reinvested in London’s transport network to deliver increased and improved services.’

TfL will initially lead the planning application and the listed building approval process rather than using an external developer.It expects to appoint the architects in October 2013.

The building was listed Grade II in 1970 and upgraded to Grade I in 2011 by English Heritage on account of its outstanding national historic and architectural interest.

Site facts

  • The building was commissioned in the 1920s by The Underground Group who wanted Broadway to reflect its ‘bold vision of the future of transport in London’. Architects Adams, Holden and Pearson were given the task of creating a groundbreaking design
  • The site at St James’s Park Tube station was challenging because of its irregular shape and the District and Circle line only 7.3 metres below. The solution was a cross-shaped layout, allowing pedestrians to walk through the ground floor of the offices, across the station booking hall, providing a short cut between Victoria Street and St James’s Park
  • Above ground, the building was faced with 78,000 cubic feet of high quality Portland stone.  Contemporary artists were invited to sculpt decorative features into the stone facade, carved on site. Two are just above street level and a further eight are above the sixth floor windows on each side of all four wings.
  • The Royal Institute of British Architects awarded 55 Broadway its 1929 London Architectural Medal
  • During WW2 the west wing received considerable damage as a result of bombing. It was rebuilt without Portland stone facing which was not available at the time. The Portland stone was reinstated in 1963
  • 55 Broadway was refurbished in the 1980s. The exterior stone work was cleaned, the windows replaced with exact replicas, and a new street-level shopping mall allowed the reopening of the eastern entrance to the building.
  • London Underground owns the freehold interest in 55 Broadway, 100 Petty France and the wing over the station and holds a long occupational lease of Albany House. 55 Broadway is a Grade I Listed Building which lies within the Broadway & Christchurch Gardens Conservation Area


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