Buildings in Southwark and Lambeth, London

Click on photos to enlarge

Notes in italics are from London 2: South by Bridget Cherry and Nikolaus Pevsner (1983) Yale University Press, New Haven and London. Other notes are gleaned from various sources on the web, and usually have links to these sources.

This extensive webpage is the outcome of a guided tour by Tony Hale in June 2008, with grateful acknowledgement.

Scroll down page to see all buildings, or go direct:

Southwark Station    Palestra Building    The Young Vic    Windmill Walk Quarter    Coin Street Developments    Unitarian Chapel    Kirkaldy's Testing Works    Bankside 123    Bankside Studios    George Inn    Southwark Cathedral    Golden Hinde    Winchester Palace    Across the River    The Globe Theatre    Cardinal's Wharf    River Court and Television Centre

Southwark Station

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Southwark station was opened in 1999 as part the Jubilee Line extension. Designed by Richard MacCormac of MacCormac Jamieson Prichard. The intermediate concourse has a spectacular glass wall designed by the artist Alexander Beleschenko and consisting of specially cut pieces of blue glass. More information at Wikipedia.

Palestra Building
Blackfriars Road, opp. Southwark Station

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Palestra Building by SMS Alsop, an office building completed in 2006, is the first thing one sees coming out of Southwark station. Tilted horizontals and tilted verticals. The name is that of a boxing ring that once stood on the site; it is Greek for an exercise yard or gymnasium.

Article at                   RIBA Award 2007

The Young Vic
The Cut, Lambeth

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The Young Vic was constructed in 1970 out of a former butchers' shop and an adjacent bomb-site. A major reconstruction took place 2004-6, with the main auditorium on the right receiving the RIBA London Building of the Year Award 2007. The reconstruction was designed by the architectural practice Haworth Tompkins. The butcher's shop is still the main entrance and box office. More information at Wikipedia.

Windmill Walk Quarter

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Peabody Trust flats at the corner of Windmill Walk/Cons Street. Built in late 19th century by James Hartnoll and acquired by the Peabody trust in 1970. There are many Peabody Trust buildings around London providing housing for nearly 50,000 people. An American banker, George Peabody, founded the Peabody Donation Fund in 1862 to provide housing for people in need in London. George Peabody and the Peabody Trust.
Roupell Street
, looking west from Windmill Walk. Very modest early 19th century workers' terraces.
Whittlesey Street, parallel to Roupell Street. At the end, Cornwall Road, and behind that the spire of St John's Church in Waterloo Road. Built in 1822-4 the spire (on top of a Greek portico) ends in an obelisk. Behind the church, Shell Centre and the London Eye. Shell Centre was completed 1963 and is faced with Portland stone. The windows are relatively small and more of Georgian proportions than Modernist.

Coin Street Developments

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Coin Street Neighbourhood Centre, Stamford Street, designed by Haworth Tompkins Architects. Incorporates environmentally sustainable features. More information. Bernie Spain Gardens are named after Bernadette Spain, a local campaigner in the 1980s. More. Alongside the gardens, the Palm Housing Co-Op, completed in 1994 and the winner of several awards. More. In the background, the tower of the OXO building of 1928. The company made the famous Oxo beef cube and the design of the windows got round a ban on sky advertising. By the 1970s the building was largely derelict but was transformed in the 1990s into a new mixed-use development. More

Unitarian Chapel, Stamford Street

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57 Stamford Street. Only the severe Greek Doric hexastyle portico remains of the chapel of 1823 by Charles Parker. The rest was demolished in 1964. It now forms the entrance to a modern block of flats which, from the front, makes a successful combination, neither overwhelming the other. The black and white contrast well and the relative proportions also achieve a satisfying balance. Not so happy about the red brick; the building is simpler and better from the front than from the side. 

Kirkaldy's Testing Works
99 Stamford Street, Southwark

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Kirkaldy's Testing Works, four storeys, very subdued 'Rundbogenstil' , 1877 by T.R. Smith (a pupil of Hardwick). The ground floor accommodates David Kirkaldy's 350-ton-force materials-testing machine made in 1864 by Greenwood and Batley of Leeds (preserved in situ); the upper floor had a museum. His motto 'Facts, not opinions' over the doorway. Kirkaldy pioneered the scientific and independent testing of materials used in civil engineering.

Bankside 123
Southwark Street

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Bankside 123 in Southwark Street consists of three buildings completed in 2007. They are designed by award-winning architects Allies and Morrison, whose offices are opposite the development. The first building, Bankside 1, is now called Blue Fin. It has 2,000 aluminium fins placed to reflect the sun at different times of the day, providing constant shade inside. Bankside 2 and 3 have six different types of terracotta of various shades and grains. Bankside123 Website

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Monument to the Unknown Artist, 2007, by the art collective Greyworld. It stands in front of the Blue Fin Building and is an animatronic statue which keeps changing its pose. By means of a small camera it will also mimics poses of observers and passers-by. More 

Bankside Studios
76-80 Southwark Street

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A renovation of three existing buildings in 2001, designed by Piers Gough, CZWG Architects. More (pdf document) at the firm's website.


George Inn
71 Borough High Street, Southwark

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The celebrated George Inn, only a shadow of what it was still a hundred years ago, for in 1889 the Great Northern Railway who owned the premises decided to demolish the N wing and centre. So now only a fragment of the typical galleried design remains, the design which conditioned early English theatres and figures so prominently in so many C18 and C19 novels. The galleries have plain balusters, not as elegant as they would have been for a less homely job. The George was built only after the Southwark fire of 1676. To the E of the galleried part is a larger plain brick part with horizontal and a few vertical and segment-headed windows. The George Inn is now owned by The National Trust but still in use as a public house. 

Southwark Cathedral

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See separate page on Southwark Cathedral

The Golden Hinde
St Mary Overie Dock, Cathedral Street

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A replica built 1973 of Sir Francis Drake's galleon which sailed around the world in 1577-80. This replica has done the same and travelled a total of 140,000 miles. More at Wikipedia. Website of the replica, including admission.

Winchester Palace
Clink Street, Southwark

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Winchester House, the town residence of the Bishops of Winchester from the C12 to the C17. ... The remains of a gorgeous rose window (restored in 1972), a unique design, made of an inserted hexagon with eighteen cusped triangles around a smaller hexagon filled with radiating daggers of alternating width. A date in the early C14 seems likely, when these motifs were fashionable in London ... Website by English heritage

Across the River

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Views across the river from Southwark. St Paul's Cathedral at the far end of the Millennium Bridge. Vintners Place at the north end of Southwark Bridge, a classically inspired design of 1992. Takes its name from Vintner's Hall behind it and the location of the Vintners Company since the 13th century.

The Globe Theatre
Original Site in Park Street

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Site of the original Globe Theatre associated with Shakespeare. Built in 1599 and destroyed in 1644 to make room for tenements. Its location was rediscovered in 1989. Only a small part of the remains have survived all the subsequent building. More information at Wikipedia. Modern reconstruction below.

Shakespeare's Globe
Modern Reconstruction

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Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, which officially opened in 1997, is a reconstruction of the Elizabethan Globe Theatre. It faces the river and is approximately 230 metres from the site of the original theatre (see above). It was built at the instigation of American actor and director Sam Wanamaker, who unfortunately died before it was completed. More information at Wikipedia. Website of the modern theatre.
Next door, Swan at the Globe with bar and restaurant.

Bankside 49-52, with Wren Residence

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Cardinal's Wharf, 49 Bankside, a tall, thin building. While the frontage is clearly 17th or early 18th century, the house inside must be older since the plaque refers to Katherine of Aragon staying here in 1502. The plaque also says that Sir Christopher Wren lived here during the building of St Paul's Cathedral (1675-1711). However, this is all disputed in a recent book which maintains that the house was built about the time that St Paul's was completed. It states that the plaque was moved from a now-destroyed building a little further down the river. More here. The brick house next to it dates from 1712 and belongs to the Provost of Southwark Cathedral.
Comprehensive information about the houses here

Upper Ground
River Court and Kent House (LWT Tower)

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River Court, geometrically sculptured block of flats. Tower of ITV's London Television Centre at Kent House, 1970-72 by C.H. Elsom & Partners. 

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