Elizabeth House

The Elizabeth House project is situated alongside London Waterloo station, surrounded by the currently dysfunctional environment of the former international terminal. At the centre of the project is a series of public spaces that reconnect previously disparate areas at the heart of Waterloo. Beginning with the redesign of Victory Arch Square, the obstructed entrance to the station has been reinstated, generating a new seamless, step-free public space. This is defined by a continuous ground surface conceived as a hard landscape that runs from Mepham Street to Leake Street, connecting to York Road, and permitting free and easy access to the South Bank. In between the new buildings is a second public space with links to an alternative route into the station and possible future connections to Lower Marsh. Along the length of York Road, the north building includes a double-height glass fronted gallery, integrating the development into a new southern threshold for the South Bank.

Elizabeth House

The Elizabeth House project is situated alongside London Waterloo station, surrounded by the currently dysfunctional environment of the former international terminal. At the centre of the project is a series of public spaces that reconnect previously disparate areas at the heart of Waterloo. Beginning with the redesign of Victory Arch Square, the obstructed entrance to the station has been reinstated, generating a new seamless, step-free public space. This is defined by a continuous ground surface conceived as a hard landscape that runs from Mepham Street to Leake Street, connecting to York Road, and permitting free and easy access to the South Bank. In between the new buildings is a second public space with links to an alternative route into the station and possible future connections to Lower Marsh. Along the length of York Road, the north building includes a double-height glass fronted gallery, integrating the development into a new southern threshold for the South Bank.

In addition to crafting a strong ‘place’ at ground level, the project also finds its identity in the London skyline. Formed of two distinct buildings, the larger north building comprises a 12 storey office block raised two storeys above ground level and a residential tower a further 16 storeys tall. It is defined by its significant diagonal steel bridging structure, required as a result of the considerable constraints below ground. Its external envelope develops the idea of a non-load-bearing glazed curtain wall divided into rectilinear blocks. These volumes are shaded by vertical fins, disrupting the articulation of floors so that the monolithic quality of each block is emphasised. This theme carries through to the upper residential levels providing glazed winter gardens on all sides. The form of the building is thus represented as a stack of horizontal elements aligned towards the head of the site, next to Victory Arch.

By contrast, the south building is more conventional in character and structure. Only 10 storeys tall, it is closely aligned to the material and scale of the adjacent buildings. The load-bearing pre-cast concrete façade references the materiality of the surrounding Portland stone-clad County Hall and Shell Centre tower giving it a more solid appearance. This contrasts the translucency of the north building, reflecting their respective structural approaches (steel frame over the London Underground tunnels, and concrete frame over the solid ground) while increasing permeability at street level.

Date:
2011-
Gross floor area:
137,100 m2
Client:
Elizabeth House Limited Partnership (EHLP)
Architect:
David Chipperfield Architects London
Directors:
Jonathan French, Andrew Phillips, Billy Prendergast
Project architects:
Nick Hill, Stephen MacBean, Ben Ward
Landscape architect:
West 8 urban design & landscape architecture b.v.
Structural engineer:
Skidmore, Owings & Merril
Quantity surveyor:
David Langdon LLP
Services engineer:
Hilson Moran
Geotechnical engineer:
Arup
Façade engineer:
Arup
Town planning consultant:
Dp9
Renderings:
Imaging Atelier
Model images:
Richard Davies