Agree entirely, but don't replace whatever has to be taken down for the station development with a thin pastiche veneer of brickwork arches which will just detract from the quality of the arches that are retained. We need the new station concourse to be as prominant on the South side of the station as it is on the North if we are to attract new businesses to fill in the "gap" between the hospital and Bermondsey Street and fill these arches with some quality tenants. The new concourse is an opportunity to bring some investment and renewal into the area south of the viaduct building upon the charachter that already exists to bring some adittional life and facilities to the area. For too long the north side of the viaduct has recieved all the attention and if we hide the station away at the St Thomas' Street end this will continue to be the case.
Seen the Google doodle today? It commemorates George Gilbert Scott's 200th birthday. He's the architect responsible for the arches. I wonder if that's his head in the pic in the SE1 story.
He also did Peckham Rye station. I always said to friends it was criminal that those horrible buildings surround the station but of course they'll never go. But they are going!
i think network rail is more into demolition rather than conservation ...
certainly it's demolition all the way on the north side in tooley street 11-ap-1987!
Most of the demolition seems to be an inevitability to provide enough space for the passengers to get in and out of the station. Remember that the widening of the viaduct virtually halfs the size of the existing bus station level concourse and Network Rail are supposed to be planning for the growth over the next 60 years. Or at least they ought to be given the amount of money they will probably spend. Given then that this 80m wide concourse has to be created, the question is, do you hide it behind a veneer of fake brick arches which no longer reflect what is behind them, or do you accept that the two ends of the concourse will be the NEW PRIMARY ENTRANCES to the station and celebrate that fact with some good modern design. I much prefer the latter idea as I believe that unlike the Shard entrance which promotes little more than the Shard and its associated development in London Bridge Street, the Tooley Street and St Thomas'Street entrances could have a massive beneficial effect on the regeneration of the surrounding area attracting new businesses to occupy all the retained arch frontages both East of the Shiprights Arms and all along St Thomas' Street to Bermondsey Street. The latter potential is particularly important if the regeneration that is well established to the North of the Station is to cross the viaduct and benefit the area East of the Hospital. Unfortunately in the current design the St Thomas' Street entrance is a distinctly poor and almost apologetic relation of the Tooley Street one and it sounds as if this is being promoted not by Network Rail but by our own planning department who seem to have lost the plot. Yes! please keep and repair the existing arches East of the new entrance but don't hide away the entrance itself otherwise the repaired arches will only attract second rate tenants or worse still end up boarded up.
Rant over, apologies to all!