Aerial view from south
The Bullnose and Thurloe Street
Pelham Street
Pelham Street and Thurloe Square
Thurloe Square
View of Thurloe Square
Thurloe Street
Thurloe Street and step-free access
The Bullnose and Oxblood Building
Oxblood Building and Pelham Street
South Kensington Station Arcade
Aerial view from north

 

Designs

Our proposals will deliver a high-quality sustainable development with a renewed sense of place, restoring the station arcade in its entirety, providing new homes, including 35% on-site affordable housing, enhanced retail space, workspace, and completing the delivery of much-needed step-free access to the Circle & District lines.

Renowned architect Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners has developed the designs, while heritage specialist Julian Harrap Architects is working on the heritage aspects, including the sensitive restoration of the Grade-II listed Arcade and the retained Thurloe Street façade and shopfronts

Key benefits of proposals

Improved accessibility
Completing the delivery of much-needed step free access to the ticket hall and Circle & District lines, greatly improving accessibility for parents with buggies, wheelchair users and other passengers with restricted mobility. This will be delivered in the first phase of the scheme.

Affordable housing
50 new high quality homes around the station, including 35% on site affordable homes of various sizes, to be delivered in first phase of the scheme

Modest heights
The proposed buildings are all of 4-5 storeys and are similar or smaller in scale to those in the surrounding streets. No protected views are being harmed as a result of our proposals.

Heritage-led development
Restoration of the Thurloe Street façade and the preservation and restoration of the Grade-II listed station arcade in its entirety, ensuring the much-loved historic station building remains at the heart of our proposals

Local economic benefits
Supporting 250 new jobs and providing almost £1m additional business rate revenue per year

Sustainable development
Sustainability credentials compliant with the London Plan and draft RBKC SPD.

Quality buildings
New buildings of the highest quality with carefully considered designs that respect the unique and important heritage of the area

Improved retail
New shops in the restored station arcade, at the ground floor of Thurloe Street and the Bullnose building, and at the station end of Pelham Street. These are being designed with a small footprint to appeal to small and independent retailers

High quality employment space
New office and workspace of the highest quality

Improved passenger experience

Creating a renewed sense of arrival for the around 34 million visitors and residents per year to the station and an improved pedestrian experience around the station

 

THE STORY SO FAR

Extensive consultation with the local community has been undertaken on the proposals, during 2019 and early 2020, and the plans were submitted to the RBKC for approval in summer 2020.

Design amendments to the original plans were submitted in January 2021 following further consultation and feedback from key stakeholders.

In June 2021, RBKC’s planning officer recommended the borough approve the scheme, with the planning application receiving nearly 700 letters of support from across the wider community, including from a range of important local organisations and institutions, such as the Natural History Museum, the V&A, the Science Museum and Imperial College.

However, the joint venture between Native Land and TfL asked RBKC if it would defer the planning committee to allow time for further refinement to the designs to the designs where these might be possible within the overall vision for the site.

AUGUST 2021 DESIGN AMENDMENTS

In August 2021, we submitted those further amendments, which are aimed at reducing heights on certain elements of the scheme and introducing further setbacks and parapets, as well as reducing glazing and changing materials on certain parts of the development to ensure the scheme is optimised to sit sympathetically within its context.

These amendments are detailed below and are illustrated in the updated images of the designs on this website.

THURLOE STREET

We are proposing a complete and sympathetic restoration of the 20-34 Thurloe Street historic façade, reinstating the shopfronts to their original quality and design. However, the existing interiors of the building are of very poor quality, having been extensively modified and sub-divided over the years.

We are therefore proposing to replace the building behind the restored façade with a high-quality sustainable residential building, providing homes of a range of sizes that meet modern standards and are fit for the future.

August 2021 amendments

  • Design reconsidered to further contextualise the building
  • Brickwork on the rear elevation reconfigured to accentuate the form of the three blocks to better reference the existing form
  • Reducing the extent of glazing on the rear elevation, increasing the facade solidity
    Introducing a parapet on the rear elevation as per the current context
  • Introducing an angled mansard form to the parapet as per context
  • Decreasing the size and height of the rooftop plant provision

THE BULLNOSE

The proposed building at the front of the station, referred to as ‘The Bullnose’ because of its unique shape, will help distinguish this important station and create a sense of place at the entrance to London's world-renowned museum and cultural quarter.

The proposed building is ground plus three storeys, smaller than the surrounding buildings. On the upper floors high quality workspace will be provided, which is an important part of the mix of the overall development, helping to generate jobs and local economic value.

The ground floor of the Bullnose building will provide new shops and will connect to the Grade-II listed station arcade, which will be sensitively restored in its entirety, ensuring the revitalised historic station building remains at the heart of our proposals.

August 2021 amendments

  • Design reconsidered to further contextualise the building, with specific reference to adjacent heritage architecture
  • A further increase in facade solidity and composition, with reduction in glazing
  • Top floor redesigned to reduce presence

 

 

PELHAM STREET

Historically Pelham Street was two-sided, before buildings on the station side were demolished as part of the station’s expansion. Our proposals will reinstate the two-sided terraced street with new residential terraces and commercial accommodation developed on vacant land along the street that reflect the heights, materiality and colour pallet of the buildings opposite.

The scale and materiality responds to the immediate context, reflecting the variation in height on the south side of the street. At the eastern end of the street the height is ground plus three storeys, with the third storey set back, the same as the terraced houses opposite. At the western end of heights are ground plus four storeys, with a recessive top floor, again reflecting the heights opposite.

We have selected materials that reflect the glazed tiles of the Oxblood station building at the western end before moving to a more contextual brick at the eastern end. We will be providing reliefs along the street to enhance the pedestrian experience as well as creating mini front garden space to allow a greater feeling of space at street level. The width of Pelham Street will not be altered through our works.

August 2021 amendments

  • Treatment of the main elevation reconsidered to provide a more contextual design and creating more variety along the street
  • Reduction in overall height to limit any impact on neighbours
  • Introduction of upper-level parapet walls to further reduce the presence of the upper storey
  • Different floor levels and elevational treatment to the residential building relative to the office building, creating greater distinction and variety on the street
  • Setting back the office upper floor fronting Pelham Street further
  • Reduction of the upper-level floorplate at the West of the street to become more recessive

THURLOE SQUARE

Our proposals for new homes on Thurloe Square will provide for residential buildings of the highest quality with a contextual design that reflects the architecture of Thurloe Square. The buildings will be developed on a vacant site that backs onto the station, with the development reinstating the now broken fabric of the street, reconnecting Thurloe Square and Pelham Place.

The buildings have been designed to relate to the existing Thurloe Square buildings, reflecting their lines, proportions and materials, with portico entrances, a raised ground floor and a recessed upper floor.

August 2021 amendments

  • The top floor has been reduced to accommodate a further setback to Thurloe Square and the gable end wall
  • The parapet detailing has been developed to further align with the heritage context and reflect the traditional upper-level arrangement
  • The extent of the upper floor glazing on the gable end has been revisited to respond to the adjoining brick gable end wall

STEP–FREE ACCESS

Our proposals will complete the delivery of step-free access to the ticket hall and Circle & District line and subway tunnel. This will greatly improve access for wheelchair users, parents with buggies and other passengers with restricted mobility to this vitally important and popular part of London. Step-free access will be delivered in the first phase of the scheme.

THE HISTORIC STATION ARCADE

Our proposals will restore and enhance the station’s Grade-II listed Arcade in its entirety to create an arrival experience befitting London's world-renowned museum and cultural quarter.

Many of the retail spaces within the Arcade have been altered over the years without due regard to their heritage. Our sensitive refurbishment will restore the shop frontages to be in keeping with their historic style, while also ensuring the long-term integrity of the Arcade.

We have appointed heritage specialist Julian Harrap Architects to work on the restoration of the Arcade, as well as other heritage aspects of the proposals.

HOW DO OUR PROPOSALS RELATE TO THE EXISTING STATION UPGRADE WORKS?

The ticket hall and platforms of South Kensington Station already have planning consent for refurbishment. This is a separate project to our proposals and is being led by Transport for London and has been designed by architect Weston Williamson + Partners.

However, importantly, these plans do not include planning consent for step-free access from Thurloe Street. Our proposals will obtain the necessary planning consent to reconfigure the ground floor of Thurloe Street in order to complete the delivery of much-needed step-free access.