London’s transport bosses have been urged to rethink plans to convert a grade I-listed office block in Westminster into flats because of the level of affordable housing on offer
Architect TateHindle’s proposals to turn Transport for London’s (TfL) headquarters into a development of largely high-end apartments went on public display this week ahead of an expected planning application next month.
TfL is due to vacate the Portland-stone clad 55 Broadway next year, and expects to generate £3.5 billion through the sale and conversion of the 1920s structure designed by Charles Holden.
But Tom Copley, Labour’s housing-group spokesman on the London Assembly, said that TfL’s proposal for just 22 per cent of the new homes to be ‘affordable’ was unacceptable.
‘The mayor and Transport for London need to go back and look again at the weighting they are giving to affordable housing on the Broadway development,’ he said.
‘Whilst we must seek best value for the taxpayer, this shouldn’t mean average people are priced out of the market.
‘There is a growing housing crisis in London, and not at the super-rich end of the scale.’
Copley added that London Mayor Boris Johnson’s definition of ‘affordable’ as 80 per cent of market rates would hardly be affordable in the exclusive area where 55 Broadway is located.
Constructed directly above the St James’ Park Underground Station, the building brought New York style to central London almost 90 years ago.
TateHindle director Andrew Tate said the proposals would ‘re-establish’ Charles Holden’s direct pedestrian route from Victoria Street to the station’s ticket hall.
“Public realm improvements will greatly enhance the setting of the Grade I listed building, wider, more generous stone paving and swapping the glass from opaque to clear will transform and open up the retail,’ he said.
‘The restoring of 55 Broadway’s striking footprint will also allow views of two of the ‘Winds’ series of sculptures, that help make the building so memorable.’
Previous story (AJ 01.05.14)
TateHindle wins contest to turn London Underground HQ into homes
AJ100 practice TateHindle has won the contest to transform London Underground’s Grade I-listed headquarters at 55 Broadway into homes
Transport for London (TfL) launched the search for a team to overhaul Charles Holden’s iconic 1929 landmark – once the tallest office block in the city – in August last year.
TfL is due to quit 55 Broadway in 2015. It says the building above St James’s Park tube station is ‘no longer fit for purpose’ as an efficient office location. TfL added that it had ‘considered every potential option for the building with office, hotel and residential uses all being evaluated’.
Graeme Craig, TfL’s commercial development director, said: ‘We remain committed to securing a future for the building that ensures it remains a valued part of the fabric of London. We also have a responsibility to make sure any redevelopment is a commercial success, with proceeds reinvested in London’s transport network.’
A planning application is expected to be submitted this autumn.
Previous story (AJ 07.08.13)
TfL seeks architects for London Underground HQ homes conversion
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.
- 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