Award-winning architect David Chipperfield has unveiled his plans for a dramatic £600 million refurbishment of Elizabeth House, a 1960s office block next to Waterloo station in London. This will be David Chipperfield Architects’ first major development in the British capital and intends to provide significant improvements to the city’s busiest mainline station and surrounding area.
The designs by Sir David Chipperfield, the recipient of several awards, namely the prestigious Royal Gold Medal by the Royal Institute of British Architects in 2011, are expected to transform Waterloo by providing a new business location and public realm around a station that is used by 88 million people a year. The redevelopment is of key significance for London, as Waterloo station is the main access point for the Southbank arts complex (22 million visitors a year), the London Eye (3.5million visitors a year), and St Thomas’s Hospital (5 million visitors a year).
Central to Chipperfield’s plans are the creation of Victory Arch Square, a new space in front of the station and part of 10,000 square metres of new public realm. This space will include a new double-height glass-fronted gallery designed to host exhibitions, and public spaces with sofas, small retail spaces and wi-fi to provide a quiet area in bustling Waterloo.
Two new mixed-use buildings (one 29 storeys tall and the other 10) will provide 142 new homes and create a new business district for up to 8,500 jobs (a significant increase from the current 2,400) with the potential to generate a £12 million annual economic boost to local shops and services. This impressive forecast addresses the fact that the area has lost around 7,000 jobs since the 1980s. In total, the planning application seeks permission for 132,100 square metres (1.42 million square feet) of development including 85,700 square metres (922,000 square feet) of new commercial floor space.