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St Christopher's House, Southwark St

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Monday 14 July 2003 12.02pm
Demolition has finally started on one of SE1's ugliest monstrostities - St Christopher's House, described in the GLA planning decision report as 'deeply unattractive'.

Here's what's going in its place (cut-and-past from

10 The application is made by Land Securities Plc to a bold and exciting design by Allies and Morrison. St Christopher's House would be demolished and replaced with three new buildings with a new ground floor layout and urban design. The new buildings are called
Buildings One, Two and Three. Canvey Street, half of which was removed in 1950, is replaced and mostly pedestrianised so that it connects Sumner Street with Southwark Street north to
south. Another north-south connection is provided by a new space between Buildings Two and Three linking Zoar Street with Southwark Street. The layout includes laid out spaces between
each of the new buildings and also at the apex of the corner with Great Guildford Street and Southwark Street where the plan form of Building Three is arranged to reveal the elevation of the adjacent building forming a triangular ‘'Piazzetta'1 with an ancillary retailing unit/kiosk providing activity.
11 There would be 26 retail units in all together with a large leisure/health club use. One of the retail units would be a metro supermarket. All are at ground and basement levels.
12 Building One would be the largest at 13 storeys with plant above. It would be mostly offices but would have ten retail units of varying sizes at ground floor and basement levels together with a large leisure unit. The Buildings Two and Three are slightly smaller and have a different cladding system. The design principles behind Building One are of translucency and shimmer', the proposed materials having a shiny lustre. The elevations are animated by a series of fins set at random positions along the position of the floor slab ends. A regular structural glazing system behind the fins would add texture to the overall presentation. The ground floor
and public face of the building is emphasised by a generous double height treatment which transparently displays the retail units and office foyers to the public realm.
13 Buildings Two and Three are characterised by solidity and robustness. These, again, have generous ground and mezzanine floors for the public retailing areas but have greater
vertical emphasis and a rigid pattern of bays with recessed windows flanked by terracotta panels. The bays and recesses give the elevations depth and rhythm when viewed from most

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