Shell Centre Redevelopment To Begin This Year

In news that will dismay Simon Jenkins, who was fulminating about the plan last week, Boris Johnson has signed off on plans to build a cluster of new buildings around the Shell Centre near Waterloo. The project will get off the ground later this year.

Under the plans, the main building (completed 1961) will be retained while the other surrounding buildings are demolished, and eight new towers constructed. They will comprise offices, retail and housing, with around 10% of the 900 units  classed under the increasingly meaningless “affordable” tag. There will also be a public plaza and a new entrance to Waterloo underground.

The land around Shell has had some proposals over the past decade, including a dreary effort from Arup in 2004 heavily influenced by the post-Gherkin vogue for curvy glass buildings. Not everybody is pleased with the new plans either (“a visual wall of towers on a truly Stalinist scale” was Jenkins’s restrained view) and there will be concerns if, as is increasingly common, the new residences are snapped up by foreign-based owners who seldom visit. Whether it will attract the interests of Greenpeace, who last week scaled the Shard in protest at Shell’s drilling practices, remains to be seen.

The redevelopment should be completed in 2019.

See also: Elizabeth House, the new building beside Waterloo station

Tags: , , , ,

  • Adam

    It’s a good development and much needed regeneration around what is currently an awful gateway into Central London. However you have to ask why the small block at the front wasnt split in two or proposed taller and slender, it takes away from the more elegant soare of building behind.
    Simon Jenkins will no doubt be scrawling his quill with ink ready for another same old same old article for the Standard. Perhaps he can moan about the Shard or the Olympics again?

  • MattFromLondonist

    Handsome and well proportioned, if unadventurous, I reckon. The piazza doesn’t look much fun to sit in, though.

  • Adam

    With vibrant retail and high quality finishes it will be a huge improvement on the current ‘Piazza’ thats for sure!

  • CreshkoffWatercolour

    surely somebody should outlaw such boring proposals?!

  • dyang

    seems unlikely that Arup’s scheme was “heavily influenced” by anything “post gherkin” since the proposal was completed more than 2 years before the St Mary Axe was built…..unless we’re talking about actual gherkins?

    • http://londonist.com/ Dean Nicholas

      The design for the Gherkin was completed in the 2000 and was widely publicised, so it’s entirely possible the Arup scheme was influenced by it.

  • Mike Tully

    Simon Jenkins also moaned endlessly about The London Eye when it was in the planning stage. Which of us would want it demolished now?

  • Melvyn Windebank

    Given the high standards of quality found at Canary Wharf one hopes this will be transferred to the Shell Centre development.

    The news of a new entrance to Waterloo underground will hopefully include extra escalators (currently two escalators and fixed staircase) and more importantly lifts to bring step free acess to Bakerloo and Northern lines ( the jubilee line and interchange subway are already accessible while Bank Station upgrade will make Waterloo and City step free .) .

  • Lee

    Can someone please explained why there is such an uproar about the Elizabeth House development which has been approved and given the green light by the mayor and has not been called in however Westminster council are taking legal advice over the decision then on the other hand you have this monstrous greedy shell development , which is going in FRONT !! of Elizabeth house and everybody thinks its wonderful ??? . I am looking forward to sitting in the “sunny” internal public square when it’s all completed