As the Overall Winner, Sustainability Prize winner and Transport category winner in the New London Awards 2018, London Bridge Station has been under the spotlight this year. On 12 September a group of NLA Members were given an exclusive tour to find out exactly why…
Grimshaw Partner Mark Middleton and Associate Stuart Grahn led a study tour of the station, exploring its redevelopment, with an in-depth view of the technical processes, design features and the station’s impact on the local community.
The station, first opened in 1836, is London’s oldest and had not been updated since the ‘70s. The redevelopment allows 40-60,000 more peak-time passengers, making it the UK’s fourth busiest station, with passenger numbers rising from 50 to 90 million per year.
Mark and Stuart showed the group the two sections of the station – the lower terminus and upper concourse of platforms, 15 of which have been re-built, making it the largest job of its size in the UK. Mark explained how the station was rebuilt in nine stages, while staying completely open and running as normal. “It’s unheard of. We’re really proud of what we achieved as a group and the collaborative effort certainly paid off.”
On the design, Stuart stressed the importance of 'respecting the heritage and history of the area at every stage, while ensuring that daylight and space were at the core of the design.'
The station ‘brings the outside in’, reflecting and remaining part of the local community, as well as becoming a hub in which people can meet, socialise and travel. The station contains 92,000 sqft of retail, with more than 70 retail units. The celebrated space within the arches, which used to be a market, is a calm and compressive space compared to the large open concourse. “We wanted to keep the retail contained to the lower concourse, encouraging people to dwell here and wait for their trains. The platforms have been completely de-cluttered” said Mark.
The station is one of the most complex, ambitious and sustainable rail station redevelopments in the UK, and this tour demonstrated exactly why.
NLA Study Tours are a unique opportunity for NLA Members to visit new and upcoming developments in London – hearing from the architects and teams behind them. Find out more about membership here.
By Merry Arnold, Marketing and Communications Coordinator, NLA.