Sellar today unveils plans for a Renzo Piano-designed major redevelopment of two key sites between Bermondsey Street and London Bridge Station.The company is proposing to create a 160,000 sq ft offices and retail scheme on sites it has owned since 2008 –40-44 Bermondsey Street and 9-17 Vinegar Yard.
Bounded by Bermondsey Street to the East, St Thomas Street to the North, Vinegar Yard to the West and Snowsfields to the South, the sites will be unified through the creation of a new pedestrianised thoroughfare that will provide an additional link between Bermondsey Street and London Bridge, flanked with curated retail.
Plans have been submitted to the London Borough of Southwark for a total of 140,000 sq ft of modern flexible office space across two buildings together with ground floor retail and leisure accommodation, as well as new public realm that will include significant landscape improvements to the area.
Sellar’s proposal represents a change of scale for Renzo Piano who is seeking to create a transition fromthe more intimate village atmosphere of Bermondsey Street and the higher density buildings planned closer to Guy’s Hospital and the revamped London Bridge Station.
Already the area between Bermondsey Street and Shard Quarter has attracted a wide range of development proposals for further office development, under the proposed St Thomas Street East Framework (“STSEF”).
Sellar and the Renzo PianoBuilding Workshop have been instrumental in the design of the Framework at street level and have been actively engaged with other landowners to ensure the area is well planned and unique to Bermondsey.
The development fronting Bermondsey Street is similar in scale to the traditional warehouses that line it, ground plus four storeys. The elements that relate more to Snowfields rise again to ground plus nine storeys, while on Vinegar Yard, the site of the derelict Vinegar Yard Warehouse, the development rises to ground plus 16 storeys.
The scheme has been designed to respect local views along Bermondsey Streetand wider views from the Tower of London. It carefully manages the transition in scale from tall London Bridge buildings, close to The Shard, to the more traditional Bermondsey Street warehouse.
“Our proposals aim to extend the unique nature of Bermondsey Street through the creation of new pedestrian routes, independent local retailers and restauranteurs, modern flexible working spaces and sustainably landscaped public realm"
James Sellar - CEO, Sellar.
The Vinegar Yard warehouse building is being retained. Thederelict interior will be carefully dismantled and retained. Sellar will then undertake a programme of inspection, surveys and salvage of the interior elements that are re-usable, such as the cast iron columns, primary and secondary beams, to re-create the warehouse feel. Bare brick walls and new Crittal windows will help to breathe new life into this old structure.
James Sellar, Chief Executive of Sellar, said: “Our proposals are designed to create an elegant and measured transition from the intimate scale and character of Bermondsey Street to the city scale of London Bridge. We aim to achieve this by extending the unique nature of Bermondsey Street through the creation of a new pedestrian route to the top of Weston Street populated by independent retailers and restauranteurs as well as landscaped public realm.“
Working with Renzo Piano Building Workshop (“RPBW”) we are proposing the creation of a delightful group of buildings designed to the very highest standard but restrained to respect the scale of Bermondsey Street.
”Together with RPBW Sellar intends to create a world-class group of buildings, thoroughfares and spaces that sit beautifully within the wider network of pedestrian routes which have themselves developed from RPBW’s Framework Study for the whole St Thomas Street East area.
The development aims to reflect the familiar rhythms of the Bermondsey street scene by employing sympathetic proportions and recognisable elements such as warehouse hatch rank doors while modernity is seen in the use of glass bricks to replace traditional masonry elements.
Sellar anticipates the office space will help attract as many as 1,500 new jobs to the area. The offices will be designed to exemplary standards of environmental performance, with smaller floorplates and will fully embrace the principles of work place well-being.
The area is already a magnet for the creative, media, and tech industries and Sellar expects this trend to continue as the proposed development will further enhance the area, making it even more attractive to a wide range of small to medium sized enterprises and start-up businesses.
The proposed scheme forms part of the STSEF, a co-ordinated approach by four major landowners to deliver an integrated regeneration along and around St Thomas Street.
One of the key elements of Sellar’s proposals is the creation of a new pedestrian route from Bermondsey Street to the top of WestonStreet, running south of the formal St Thomas Street Boulevard, following the opening of the London Bridge station concourse.
The route links the new arcade to the refurbished warehouse located in the re-opened Vinegar Yard and then on via the HorseshoeInn and a newly planted square to join St Thomas Street opposite the new station entrance. Also, the new route provides further walkable connections southwards to Leathermarket Gardens and Morocco Street.
Sellar has been involved in the regeneration of the area for two decades since it acquired PWC’s former headquarters, Southwark Towers, in 1998. Over the past 20 years it has created the internationally renowned Shard Quarter bringing thousands of jobs and visitors to the area. This represents the next phase in the journey.