Developer has appointed BIG to come up with plans to replace 1980s building

Plans by BIG to replace a large 1980s office building on a historic site beside the Thames in central London have been given the green light by Southwark planners.

Red Lion Court is next to the former Financial Times headquarters in Bankside which is also slated for redevelopment. The pair were identified in Southwark’s local plan as a “key development opportunity”.

The buildings are located between Southwark Bridge and Cannon Street rail bridge. Red Lion Court’s other neighbour is the Anchor pub from where Samuel Pepys is said to have watched the Great Fire of London.


The scheme needs final approval from the mayor of London

Landsec, which bought the red-brick office complex in 2005, wants to build 230,000 ft of workspace along with retail and new public space. These will include a north-south pedestrian route between Red Lion Court and the former FT building, One Southwark Bridge Road.

No bidders have been shortlisted yet but the job is understood to have a construction value of around £225m.

The scheme will be 8m taller than the existing block but the development has already been lowered to 10 storeys following preapplication discussions to minimise the impact on views from nearby locations.

The developer said it had “carefully considered” whether the existing building could be retained but concluded it was “unable to meet the changing requirements of occupiers” through a refurbishment.

Some of the basement and substructure will be retained.

View of the proposed expansion and improvement to the Thames Pathway

Source: BIG

BIG’s plans for Red Lion Court - Thames Pathway

Over 45% of the site will be publicly accessible, including an expanded Thames Path, a pocket park and community garden plus affordable office space, flexible retail, a bike repair centre and wellness centre.

Others working on the scheme include cost consultant Gardiner & Theobald, project manager CPC, M&E engineer Hilson Moran, structural engineer AKT II and sustainability engineer Arup.

The job will now be referred to London mayor Sadiq Khan for final approval.