New owner appoints fresh architect after three-month battle of the big names
AHMM has replaced David Chipperfield in the long-running saga of Elizabeth House beside Waterloo Station in London.
AHMM, the third architect to work on the site this decade, will now prepare office-led proposals for a public consultation in the new year.
Chipperfield (DCA) beat Grimshaw and Hopkins to be appointed in 2010 after Allies & Morrison’s Three Sisters proposal bit the dust amid a row about protected views.
DCA even moved its offices into the dilapidated but fine 1960s building currently occupying the land on York Road.
But when Slovakian developer HB Reavis bought the site for £250m in May it was said to be unhappy with some aspects of Chipperfield’s approved scheme.
It sent the practice back to the drawing board but also engaged AHMM, Bjarke Ingels’ practice BIG, Rogers Stirk Harbour & Partners and Wilkinson Eyre and asked them to make suggestions.
The context of the site has changed significantly since Squire & Partners won planning for the under-construction Shell Centre redevelopment on the other side of York Road. HB Reavis is thought to want to extract more value from its investment.
Kiran Pawar, development director at HB Reavis, said each of the architects they engaged with was “extremely impressive” and described AHMM’s appointment as an important milestone.
“Working with AHMM, we will offer a world-class, contemporary office-led development that supports thousands of jobs and provides public realm improvements that will benefit the tens of millions of people who use Waterloo station,” he added.