London Bridge station scoops top architecture award

London Bridge station concourse.

London Bridge Station has been named Architects Journal Building of the Year 2019.

Based on a design by Grimshaw, the station re-opened in May last year following a £1bn transformation as part of the government sponsored Thameslink Programme.

The station earned high praise from the judges whose comments included “hugely impressive – a giant of a project" and "does grandeur with huge modesty". They also praised the scheme for being successful not just as an infrastructure project, but as a civic development. One judge said: “This is a great piece of urbanism beyond its job as a station,” Another observed how the station previously acted as a wall, cutting the river off from its hinterland, while Grimshaw’s design "reconnects the tissue of the city". 

The award is the third prestigious architecture prize which the station has received. Last month it won the RIBA London Award 2019 and was also named RIBA London Building of the Year 2019.

In a five-year build, the Thameslink Programme, a partnership between the Department for Transport, Network Rail, Govia Thameslink Railway, Southeastern and Siemens, created the largest street-level station concourse in the UK. Work included a major track upgrade, a new rail underpass on the approach to the station and platform widenings and extensions, all of which means 30% more trains can use the station than before. Throughout the rebuild the station remained open to ensure rail services were maintained for the 50m customers who use it each year.

London Bridge is the oldest station in central London and the fourth busiest in the UK. The station was originally built as two separate stations. The rebuild means that for the first-time passengers can reach all 15 platforms from one concourse.

John Halsall Network Rail’s managing director, southern region said: “I am delighted that the London Bridge station project has once again been recognised as an example of great design and delivery. The station has been transformed into a transport hub fit for the future. This award recognises the vision of those who designed and planned this transformation and the skill and dedication of those who carried out the work. It is a breathtaking building in its own right and is also helping bring new life to this area of London.”

Architects for the project were Grimshaw and the main contractors were Costain and Balfour Beatty. Structural and acoustic engineers and landscape architects were WSP and Arcadis. Regional winners will be put forward for the RIBA National Awards, in July. Those collecting national awards will then be considered for the RIBA Stirling Prize shortlist.

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