Foster + Partners to design ‘landmark’ scheme in Shard’s shadow


Foster + Partners is to design a ‘landmark redevelopment’ of the 1960s Colechurch House near London Bridge station

The existing 5,400m² mainly office building, close to Renzo Piano’s Shard, is owned jointly by the City Corporation and Southwark Council.

The City of London has entered into an agreement for lease with investors CIT – the private equity estates group that previously delivered the nearby More London development, again with Fosters.

The authority, which is also a trustee of Bridge House Estates, will retain the freehold of the site and a ground rent income from a ‘landmark new building’, seemingly spelling the end for the existing block.

The income from the Bridge House Estates investment property portfolio is currently used for maintenance of the five City Bridges with the surplus used by a trust for charitable grants totalling around £20 million per year.

’Colechurch House is another example of the City of London Corporation working with a development partner to bring forward a prime central London site,’ said Tom Sleigh, chair of the City of London Corporation property investment board. ‘CIT has great ideas for the site and [we] look forward to working with the experienced team on the planning application.’

CIT chief operating officer Craig Johnston said: ‘Colechurch House represents the latest in a series of CIT projects successfully revitalising redundant buildings for modern uses. Our ambition is to bring forward plans for an iconic development in this well-established business district, and be part of the future of one of London’s most vibrant, exciting and active areas.’

It is understood that engineer AKTII is working with Fosters on the mixed-use office-led scheme, which is next door to Grimshaw’s 2019 RIBA Stirling Prize-shortlisted revamp of London Bridge station.

A future timescale is not yet known.