Rich pickings for designers in £2bn Waterloo makeover

Plans revealed last week for a £2bn makeover of Waterloo station and the surrounding area in south London will provide major opportunities for designers. Mayor of London Ken Livingstone, working with his urban design arm Design for London, has unveiled a new vision for Waterloo ‘to give Waterloo a new city square’, to mcreate an improved public space and to provide a new development in the area around, and above, the station.

According to a spokesman for the mayor’s office, there will be several major prospects for designers to work on concepts for the square – street furniture, lighting and signage – as well as within the redevelopment of the station itself and on future retail and restaurant outlets in the surrounding areas. Under the proposals, changes will include the expansion of the concourse at Waterloo station, which will be brought down to street level, while the platforms will be lengthened. A new station entrance at York Road will be opened, and streets will bepaved over to form the square and give priority to pedestrians, cyclists and public transport.

The framework for the Water – loo facelift has been produced by consultants on behalf of asteering group comprising the Greater London Authority, Lambeth Council, Network Rail, Transport for London and the London Deve lopment Agency. Next year, Network Rail will unveil plans for the £1.25bn revamp of Waterloo station. The spokesman says, ‘We are primarily concerned with the square, but the first big thing will be Waterloo station, and that will kick everything off. The retail offerings in the surrounding area are sparse and, hopefully, this will start to develop as part of the plans.’ It is hoped that the plans will attract tourists, businesses and homebuyers.

Once the planning applica tions are confirmed, DfL and TfL – along with the rest of the public and private sector collaborators – will release tender invitations for the design work. The strategy follows a surge of activity in the area, such as the renovation of the Royal Festival Hall on the South Bank, by architect Allies and Morrison. Launched in June, this included a multi-million-pound refurbishment of the building, as well as a new extension, a restoration of the auditorium, riverside cafés, rooftop terraces and the new Skylon restaurant designed by Conran & Partners. The transformation received funding from the Arts Council England, the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Mayor’s London Agencies, and formed part of a wider redevelopment of the Southbank Centre. Meanwhile, London’s St Pancras station will open to the public next week, as part of a £400m restoration programme. The retail area will be divided into five zones, including a concourse area featuring high street retail outlets, a shopping arcade and an entertainment area.

Architect Chapman Taylor has created the interior layout for the Victorian station, while Lewis Moberly developed the brand identity.

• Remove general traffic from Waterloo Road and give priority to pedestrians, cyclists and public transport
• Redevelop and redefine Waterloo station so that it becomes a new centre for the area
• Support the ‘cultural quarter’ and preserve and enhance the key features of each of Waterloo’s character areas.

Latest articles

Upcoming design books to look out for

Spotlighting marginalised women designers, “heads on” design solutions to environmental issues and more – these are the anticipated design books we think you should read.