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Old August 25th, 2014, 04:16 AM   #11221
Manchester77
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I understand why it's happening but I think it's a great shame that this building will go as part of the London Bridge station redevelopment.
I hope at the very least the doorway with the SER offices can be preserved perhaps at the NRM at York (they have The Euston Arch Gates after all) since that's survived grouping, nationalisation and privatisation. I think it's a shame the building is going since it's not actually being replaced by another building just a plaza. It's worth noting that these offices are all that survives of the architects work and I think the Victorian Society sum it up well 'To knock this attractive historic building down to create a wider pavement is unnecessary and wasteful'
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Old August 25th, 2014, 04:32 AM   #11222
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I hope at the very least the doorway with the SER offices can be preserved perhaps at the NRM at York (they have The Euston Arch Gates after all) since that's survived grouping, nationalisation and privatisation. I think it's a shame the building is going since it's not actually being replaced by another building just a plaza. It's worth noting that these offices are all that survives of the architects work and I think the Victorian Society sum it up well 'To knock this attractive historic building down to create a wider pavement is unnecessary and wasteful'
100% agree. This is a marvellous Victorian building of outstanding industrial character and appears to be in very good shape. Could not the ground floor simply be opened up to create a spacious entrance? This is a wholly absurd demolition, as idiotic in its way as the loss of the Euston Arch. Again, unfortunately, it appears EH are nowhere in sight yet they will fight tooth and nail against every high rise project in central London irrespective of their design?

The loss of the large shed structure over the southern platforms was also a major disappointment. In my opinion, the designers were simply uninterested in options to conserve buildings and the new structures are not that good. I appreciate that the focus of the project was to convert three central terminal platforms into through platforms, but I really don't think alternate track layout options were fully explored to try to retain the shed, there was no serious interest in conservation other than perhaps the arches.
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Old August 25th, 2014, 04:49 AM   #11223
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100% agree. This is a marvellous Victorian building of outstanding industrial character and appears to be in very good shape. Could not the ground floor simply be opened up to create a spacious entrance? This is a wholly absurd demolition, as idiotic in its way as the loss of the Euston Arch. Again, unfortunately, it appears EH are nowhere in sight yet they will fight tooth and nail against every high rise project in central London irrespective of their design?

The loss of the large shed structure over the southern platforms was also a major disappointment. In my opinion, the designers were simply uninterested in options to conserve buildings and the new structures are not that good. I appreciate that the focus of the project was to convert three central terminal platforms into through platforms, but I really don't think alternate track layout options were fully explored to try to retain the shed, there was no serious interest in conservation other than perhaps the arches.
Indeed, in fact we've seen a former gasometer turned into a public space in the Kings X project surely the façade of the former offices surrounding the area would be better and more sympathetic to the heritage of the area.

Regarding the shed, I'd have thought the the Central arch and one fake part could have been retained with the flat nearest the through lines being dismantled to allow more through lines to be built. The train shed could have been a lovely had it been restored like that at Paddington or Kings X.
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Old August 25th, 2014, 11:28 PM   #11224
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I think many would see that as a good thing to be honest! We have some post war towers listed which are significant but styles come and go and at the end of the day it's beneficial in many cases to the users of the building to replace it with a modern building.
Repeating history then?
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Old August 26th, 2014, 11:03 AM   #11225
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New London Bridge Station | Southwark SE1

London forum thread: http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=320395

Official website: http://www.thameslinkprogramme.co.uk...bridge-station



Project facts
  • Address: London Bridge Station, Station Approach, London SE1
  • Lines: Southeastern, Southern and Thameslink
  • Architect: Grimshaw Architects
  • Cost: £500 million ($830m)
  • Capacity: 75m passengers per year





Construction progress at London Bridge, photos by Matt Brown:











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Old August 26th, 2014, 11:59 AM   #11226
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Maybe for legal reasons there are open spaces needed nearby in case of fire? Maybe it's an evacuation/drill meeting point? I know that on large scale projects such as this (especially the likes of national rail stations) - there are needed open spaces nearby for such events.

It's not good by anymeans... but I guess it's the needed sacrifice. However, as you guys have said, if they want to preserve it, they probably could have {maybe}.... :-/
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Old August 26th, 2014, 12:01 PM   #11227
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Amazing updates SE9. This thread is now back to full swing!
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Old August 27th, 2014, 02:44 AM   #11228
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Maybe for legal reasons there are open spaces needed nearby in case of fire? Maybe it's an evacuation/drill meeting point? I know that on large scale projects such as this (especially the likes of national rail stations) - there are needed open spaces nearby for such events.

It's not good by anymeans... but I guess it's the needed sacrifice. However, as you guys have said, if they want to preserve it, they probably could have {maybe}.... :-/
It would be helpful to know exactly why the office building which has sat there for a century plus now requires to be demolished. There is no planning law requirement to my knowledge regarding open space at station exits. This is a north side access, busy, but not the main access to the station, which is to the west side. There are many ways in which access and exiting to/from the station can be managed. Also, the ground floor of the office building could easily be opened up if more pubic open space is required.

The one thing which is odd about the building is its long thin floor plates - it may be being demolished as it is not an ideal office building. However, it appears very robust, has fine facades that add much character to the area, and appears in good condition - so why demolish a perfectly good and wonderful building?
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Old August 27th, 2014, 12:44 PM   #11229
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London's not a museum. The fact that nobody knew about this building before it was gone tells you how vitally important it was to the character of the city.

Not everything that's old is worth keeping.
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Old August 27th, 2014, 01:33 PM   #11230
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And I guess unlike we used to do in London, we are now planning ahead - London is about to have a population explosion and this extra capacity needs to be in place now so we dont have to repeat our mistakes so soon again.

This station is incredibly overcrowded as it is, with the higher capacity it will need more space - unfortunatley it's a sacrifice worth taking.
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Old August 27th, 2014, 04:22 PM   #11231
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And I guess unlike we used to do in London, we are now planning ahead - London is about to have a population explosion and this extra capacity needs to be in place now so we dont have to repeat our mistakes so soon again.

This station is incredibly overcrowded as it is, with the higher capacity it will need more space - unfortunatley it's a sacrifice worth taking.
Yeah, I'd have to agree with you if I'm honest.
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Old August 27th, 2014, 06:04 PM   #11232
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I'm sure that solutions can be found so that building the new stuff and preserving the worthy heritage are not mutually exclusive. It's a false dichotomy.
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Old August 27th, 2014, 06:40 PM   #11233
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Beautyful project

Thanks for sharing.
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Old August 27th, 2014, 06:59 PM   #11234
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I'm sure that solutions can be found so that building the new stuff and preserving the worthy heritage are not mutually exclusive. It's a false dichotomy.
Well see you've added the qualifier of 'worthy' there. Not everything is worthy of preservation.

And even then, preservation is not a black/white type deal. It's a sliding scale and sometimes the needs of the current city - particularly when it comes to infrastructure like this station - can outweigh the desire to preserve something of historical value.

I like the design of the new station. To me it's a great example of modern London; clean and crisp and thoroughly stylish. If the old building was being knocked down for a cheap warehouse or something garish, then I could understand. But replacing something valuable and old with something valuable and new is, I think, a fair deal.
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Old August 27th, 2014, 07:23 PM   #11235
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Well see you've added the qualifier of 'worthy' there. Not everything is worthy of preservation.

And even then, preservation is not a black/white type deal. It's a sliding scale and sometimes the needs of the current city - particularly when it comes to infrastructure like this station - can outweigh the desire to preserve something of historical value.

I like the design of the new station. To me it's a great example of modern London; clean and crisp and thoroughly stylish. If the old building was being knocked down for a cheap warehouse or something garish, then I could understand. But replacing something valuable and old with something valuable and new is, I think, a fair deal.
Hang on a minute......unless I've misunderstood, they're not replacing this old building with anything, are they?

So not such a fair deal.

And while I get your earlier point that London isn't a museum and that most who are now lamenting the loss of this building neither knew nor cared about it previously, it's the principle that matters. I think the point that some are getting at is that developers should be forced to present very compelling reasons for demolishing serviceable and attractive old buildings (even if they aren't in any way important or well known) as a default position. That doesn't appear to be the case in this instance.

Otherwise, over many years, we could blithely lose unimportant old building after unimportant old building and then suddenly look around us and realise that, other than for a few "theme park" areas near the centre, we've lost what London is about - its character; its heritage - and that what has replaced it is unsatisfying and charmless.

London isn't a museum - true. But it has an architectural identity that is worth preserving. And that identity isn't just in the important and well known buildings. It's in the little things and in the juxtaposition between old and new too.
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Old August 27th, 2014, 07:25 PM   #11236
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Well see you've added the qualifier of 'worthy' there. Not everything is worthy of preservation.

And even then, preservation is not a black/white type deal. It's a sliding scale and sometimes the needs of the current city - particularly when it comes to infrastructure like this station - can outweigh the desire to preserve something of historical value.

I like the design of the new station. To me it's a great example of modern London; clean and crisp and thoroughly stylish. If the old building was being knocked down for a cheap warehouse or something garish, then I could understand. But replacing something valuable and old with something valuable and new is, I think, a fair deal.
That's exactly the kind of logic that was used to justify most of the most harmful destructions of heritage, especially those of the 20th century. It doesn't stand on its own. A lot of what was considered worthy replacements became dated in only a few decades. We need a better conceptual framework. Let's start for example with my point above that if both needs can be satisfied (practical upgrades and heritage preservation), then why not.

We can't really start a discussion on that particular building until we'd know it from official sources how detrimental was the preservation of the building to the realisation of the infrastructure project to any satisfying level. My suspicion is that they could coexist but it's based only on experience with such projects.
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Old August 27th, 2014, 11:10 PM   #11237
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This demolition was extensively covered in the media, particularity the local news site.

You have to bear in mind London Bridge is a very busy station used by over 50 million people a year and the station redevelopment is a massive and intensive task. Whether or not this building should have or could have been saved wasn't a decision taken lightly.Personally I would have preferred this building was saved.

http://www.london-se1.co.uk/news/view/5812

"The rail infrastructure firm argues that the demolition of the structures is essential to achieve safe and easy circulation in and around the new station."
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Old August 28th, 2014, 12:05 AM   #11238
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Yes London Bridge is very busy but the main flow from the station is west, towards London Bridge and the City, north to the river and on to More London and Tower Bridge. This building is on the far North Eastern side which will be used to access the eastern side of Tooley Street, towards Potter's Fields. There are new developments here but not enough to merit a massive increase in foot fall through this area.

Generally I think London has it about right with the balance of conservation and development, but I really fail to see why this building (which is easily one of the most impressive on Tooley Street) has to go, rather than be incorporated into the development.
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Old August 28th, 2014, 12:19 AM   #11239
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Yes but isn't the point of the redevelopment to reorientate the whole station so this new entrance will lead to a huge new concourse. You only have to look at the scale of the works in the pictures posted further up the page to see they are essentially slotting in a brand new station within the current station while it is still a fully working station.

Whether the new circulation meant the current building had to go would I am sure be in the planning docs. At any rate the original plan to build an office block as part of more ambitious original redevelopment proposals from over a decade ago had already got permission to demolish this building.
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Old August 28th, 2014, 04:55 AM   #11240
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http://www.london-se1.co.uk/news/view/5812

"The rail infrastructure firm argues that the demolition of the structures is essential to achieve safe and easy circulation in and around the new station."
Thanks London Lad for your post. What is frustrating is that the "rail infrastructure firm" makes a statement and expects everyone to shut up - arrogant engineering approach of don't question us. Did the design consultants explore options to create more public space at the entrance, such as opening up the ground floor of the building to become a station concourse type area, or did they simply decide to sweep away an inconvenient building. If a serious effort was made to explore retaining the building, and it was found not feasible, then fine. However, there is no indication that any effort was made by the design consultants, and neither was there a serious effort made with respect to trying to conserve the fine large Victoria roof structure over the southern platforms which were not being significantly realigned.

Conservation has always been about understand heritage buildings and values, and exploring alternate options to achieve win-win solutions with respect to resolving functional and heritage issues. Perhaps the engineers are right, but if they are, explain why and provide a compelling justification. Otherwise, frankly one has to question why they are unwilling to explain themselves.

Of particular concern now is that lawyers are telling Boris and protesters that its wasteful to spend more time discussing the issues and imply that lawsuits will arise. When advice is passed on like this, one gets really concerned why this demolition was signed off by Southwark and why does no one at borough level want to review this - the building is still standing, there is time for a review - unless someone has signed off on related demolition or other work contracts perhaps, and could be sued if the work is slowed down or stopped?

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