London Bridge Station has been named the capital’s best new building at this year’s New London Awards.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan gave the keynote speech at New London Architecture‘s Guildhall ceremony on 4 July, which saw 30 architectural projects crowned winners of 15 categories ranging from culture and education to residential and offices.
Over 150 buildings had been shortlisted from across the city, with the judges looking for quality design that makes a positive contribution to life in London.
There were two winners per category – one new-build and one proposed design.
London Bridge Station bagged the overall top prize, as well as winning the Sustainability Prize and triumphing in the Transport & Infrastructure category.
It was praised for its “impressive scale and complexity, increase in passenger numbers and for having sustainability as a key driving factor in both its design and construction”.
Designed for Network Rail by architecture firm Grimshaw, the £1billion makeover to regenerate and streamline the old station has been the biggest railway upgrade since Victorian times.
Construction has taken over five years to complete, with the building works being undertaken while the station remained open. It was finally finished in January.
The station now features a huge 15-platform concourse bigger than the pitch at Wembley, fully accessible facilities and remodelled tracks to allow more trains to travel through London. Its smart new brick frontage can be admired from Tooley Street.
Mark Carne, chief executive of Network Rail, described it as “a stunning piece of architecture in its own right and more importantly a magnificent transport facility fit for the 21st century”.
The People’s Choice winner was Walthamstow Wetlands, where two disused buildings have been renovated for visitor use, bringing an exhibition space, education room, coffee shop and viewing platform to the community.
The regeneration has been thoughtfully designed to conserve the natural beauty and heritage of the area, with its distinct and much-loved character retained and enhanced.
The redevelopment of the Kings Crescent Estate in north London won the Mayor’s Prize, with Khan thanking the designers for proving that the controversial regeneration of housing estates can “preserve existing diverse communities and support them through periods of change”.
“The project team has rejected the ‘knock it all down and start again’ approach in favour of meaningful local engagement, combining sensitive refurbishment together with new buildings and great design, creating a neighbourhood local people can be proud of,” he said, explaining that residents had been heavily involved in the design process, from the planning of new streets to internal specifications.
Elsewhere, Hackney Town Hall was named the best Conservation & Retrofit project, Bloomberg triumphed in the Offices category and the futuristic Nobu Hotel in Shoreditch beat the City’s The Ned in the Hotels & Hospitality category.