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Wednesday23 July 2014

Allies & Morrison puts mark on its piece of south London

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Firm responsible for a dozen schemes within 250m of its Southwark base

Allies & Morrison has revealed a string of new projects in Southwark, south London, signalling its rising dominance in the area around its own offices.

Co-founder Graham Morrison revealed that the practice, based on Southwark Street near Tate Modern, had “12 to 15 projects within a radius of 250m” including the expansion of its offices and a new residential tower close by.

The firm is now adding 1,200sq m to its existing 2,000sq m of office space by renovating the warehouse adjacent to its self-designed headquarters, and is on site with a timber-frame extension to house its model workshop.

“We first moved into our offices here about eight years ago and even then we were almost too big for the space,” said Morrison. “So we also occupied a Victorian warehouse next door owned by Land Securities. When the opportunity came up to buy the warehouse we took it.”

Once its enlarged offices are complete, Allies & Morrison will take forward designs for a new residential tower on the site of the 1960s Isis building closer to London Bridge which the firm is using as temporary office space.

The triangular site it occupies is similar to that of the Flatiron in New York. “Those designs are at a very speculative stage: we’ve only done sketches,” said Morrison, who said the practice was thriving despite the downturn.

“We’ve been bucking the trend and haven’t shrunk as much as a result of the recession as some of our contemporaries,” he said.

In 2010 it was appointed to a number of jobs in the capital including the redevelopment of a 5ha site in Nine Elms for Royal Mail and schemes for Crossrail, King’s Cross Central and the Olympic Park.

In Southwark itself it is also working on two student accommodation blocks for Unite and a hotel for Premier Inn.

Peter Murray, chairman of New London Architecture, said Allies & Morrison was not just dominating the Southwark area but making “big chunks of London their own”.

“The amount of London they cover is staggering. It equates that they are architects with a modernist approach and provide the quality that the market place wants,” he added.
“They are keen on improving their locality and the influence they will have in London in the years to come will be extraordinary.”

The practice’s growing empire

1 85 Southwark Street Allies & Morrison offices completed 2003
2 89 Southwark Street Refurbishment of Victorian warehouse to become part of Allies & Morrison’s offices, under construction
3 1-9 Farnham Place New timber frame extension to its offices, under construction. Landscaping to create outdoor space to rear
4 Isis building Redevelopment to residential tower; in pre-planning
5 Bankside 1, 2 & 3 Completed 2005-2007
6 Great Suffolk Street Unite student housing, two blocks rising to seven and 13 storeys, completed 2010
7 Premier Inn Hotel on Lavington Street, under construction

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Readers' comments (2)

  • So not really news then- more of a publicity drive... or BD printing yet another press release...

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  • Simon  Quinlank

    I love the bland neutral post-modern blockiness, its really neat and dominant at the same time. And it's also great that BD hides it's little bits of journalism behind it's pay wall. That means we're all spared the really important ARCHITECTURE that's going down.

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