Waterloo City Square Building, London DSDHA Architecture, Architect, Design Renewal Project

Waterloo City Square

Major London Public Realm Development design by DSDHA Architects, England, UK

10 Mar 2009

Waterloo City Square Regeneration

London eyesore set for facelift as DSDHA wins Waterloo City Square project

Design: DSDHA, Architects

One of the last remaining blights of 1960s London is set for regeneration following the selection of DSDHA as the design team for the Waterloo City Square scheme.

Waterloo City Square London Waterloo City Square Waterloo City Square design

Fighting off competition from Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands and EDAW, DSDHA has been selected to rethink the ugly and inaccessible street design in and around the IMAX roundabout, Waterloo Road and Waterloo Station to create a better experience for all users. Despite huge improvements since the ‘cardboard city’ days, the confusing labyrinth of streets and subways remains unwelcoming, unattractive and often feels unsafe.

Both the local community and the judging panel selected DSDHA as the best team for the job of revitalising this critical part of central London and creating an appropriate gateway to the South Bank’s cultural institutions and popular visitor attractions.

Over 1700 people took part in the local consultation which gave residents and employees the opportunity to meet each of the shortlisted design teams face to face and to evaluate their concepts. Participants scored each team against a range of criteria, considering how well they had met the design brief. In the opinion of local people, DSDHA and their thinking showed particular strengths in making the area more attractive and better connected as well as safer and more pleasant for pedestrians and simpler to change mode of transport.

Deborah Saunt, co-founder of DSDHA comments: “We recognise Waterloo as one of the most important public spaces in the country, serving the busiest station in the UK with over 300,000 commuters each day, as well as being the gateway to London’s South Bank and home to thousands of local residents.

Waterloo City Square London Waterloo City Square Waterloo City Square design

For us, this is a unique opportunity. Waterloo is a meeting place for people, journeys and identities. We hope to create seamless connections at ground level to allow dignified access for everyone to all local spaces – from The Cut to the South Bank, Kings College to Lower Marsh, Coin Street to Waterloo Station. The labyrinth of underpasses will be a thing of the past and the IMAX will finally be able to takes its place as a landmark at the heart of the area.

This will be an incredibly important project to DSDHA, and we look forward to collaborating with stakeholders and the local community to realise our vision for this area and to consolidate the importance of Waterloo to central London, the outer boroughs and beyond.”

The judging panel was chaired by Peter Bishop, Group Director of Design, Development and Environment, London Development Agency. Commenting on the scheme he said: “By working together, the public and private sectors have come up with a clear plan to regenerate Waterloo City Square that is backed by local businesses and residents. We want to get the area designed and transform the experience of visitors, where people can enjoy moving around the area – especially from Waterloo Station to the attractions on the South Bank.”

“We are focused on attracting investment into this area and believe that the regeneration of the spaces around Waterloo Station is critical to future growth. We are confident that by adopting the practical approach of phased delivery, we will be in a position to deliver significant improvements over the next 5 years and are looking forward to working with DSDHA and the LDA on this scheme.” says Ted Inman, Chief Executive, South Bank Employers’ Group which is managing the project.

It is anticipated that a final design will be submitted to planning at the end of the year, following further in-depth consultation with all stakeholders including local residents, employees and businesses. The various consultation activities will be promoted throughout the area.

Waterloo City Square – Building Information

Architects: DSDHA
Transport: Atkins
Engineering & Sustainability: ARUP
Development Consultant: Cushman & Wakefield
Pedestrian Movement: Space Syntax
Lighting Design: Speirs & Major
Landscape: VOGT

Waterloo City Square design competition

– DSDHA have been selected following a two-stage Open Project Competition (OJEU).
– South Bank Employers’ Group managed the commission on behalf of the London Development Agency.
– The Judging Panel comprises the landowners and stakeholders who have come together to improve this area for the benefit of local residents, employees, commuters and visitors: Greater London Authority, London Development Agency, Transport for London, London Borough of Lambeth, British Film Institute, Coin Street Community Builders, P&O Estates, CABE (space), Network Rail, Southbank Centre, King’s College London, St John’s Church, National Theatre and Shell.
– The design competition was funded by London Development Agency and P&O Estates.

Waterloo City Square Competition : further information


Location: Waterloo Road, London, England, UK

London Buildings

Contemporary London Architecture

London Architecture Designs – chronological list

Architecture Tours in London by e-architect

London Architecture Offices

London Architecture

Waterloo City Square

Waterloo City Square – Other Shortlisted Designers


Lifschutz Davidson

Waterloo City Square Context : BFI IMAX London

Major Buildings nearby:
Waterloo Station

Royal Festival Hall

South Bank Centre London

Southwark Buildings

Benbow Yard Home, Southwark, South London
Design: FORMstudio Architects
Benbow Yard Home in Southwark, South London
photo © Bruce Hemming
Contemporary Home in Southwark

Comments / photos for the Waterloo City Square London Architecture page welcome