a team including global architecture firm grimshaw has completed ‘london bridge station’ — a major railway terminus in the UK capital. the £1 billion redevelopment has completely transformed the station, catalyzing the london bridge quarter and connecting millions more passengers to the city’s transport network. construction started in 2013, however, due to a modular design technique with off-site construction, the station remained open throughout the project.

london bridge station
all images © paul raftery

 

 

the opening concludes the final chapter of the station’s redevelopment, which has been a collaborative effort between engineers arcadis and WSP, who partnered for a joint venture, and architects grimshaw, main contractor costain, and network rail. according to the team, the scheme comprises two key architectural concepts.

london bridge station
‘london bridge station’ is a major railway terminus in the UK capital

 

 

the first includes the addition of an expansive concourse and civic space that can accommodate increased passenger numbers and facilitate a quicker and easier interchange. a new concourse — 80m wide and 165m long — forms a space that both accommodates 50 million annual journeys and creates an environment where visitors can spend time in between travel.

london bridge station
the £1bn redevelopment has completely transformed the station

 

 

the second concept was to design with construction in mind. as london bridge is a major interchange, only two platforms at a time could be removed. consequently, grimshaw designed the scheme to be modular and constructed off-site wherever possible. this method can be seen in the development of the roof as a series of ribbons which comprise 1,200 pre-fabricated cassettes. the canopies are designed to be read as one structure with unifying roof lights in the concourse that signal the importance of the space.

london bridge station
as a result of a modular design technique, the station remained open throughout the project

 

 

‘the successful delivery of london bridge station is a highly complex feat of design and engineering,’ explains mark middleton, partner at grimshaw. ‘as architects, our vision for the station was to create a great civic space that connected two communities, and respected its victorian heritage whilst providing a modern, functional and enjoyable experience for train passengers. it is a bold scheme, and its below track concourse is not only unique but also the largest in our country; it is a transformational project for southwark and for london.’

london bridge station
an expansive concourse can accommodate increased passenger numbers

london bridge station
construction work began in 2013

london bridge station
the scheme connects millions of passengers to the city’s transport network

london bridge station
the design references the region’s existing architecture

  • Overall I think this is a brilliant achievement, as a user of the old, the not so old and now the new London Bridge I have a bit of disappointment. The Concourse is underwhelming both from an aesthetic and practical viewpoint. The indicator boards are not the best and there are too many of them, I always think keeping things simple is best and these boards are neither easy on the eye nor on the brain. The Concourse looks too busy in places, it’s a bit messy. I feel that it is a lost opportunity to make a statement about how to move passengers around in style. Recently I used the Bridge and the exiting procedure was none too clear as to where I was going, Also, once outside, the process of getting out of the way of the madding crowd, perhaps it’s just my age but people are far more aggressive in knocking others out of the way!! Anyway, I think the engineering at rail level and the archtecture are superb, this must have been one hell of a challenge and it’s been well worth the wait.

    Richard says:

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