A conference looking at Bankside & London Bridge kicked-off another busy week of events at NLA this morning. Speakers including Cllr Nick Stanton, Leader of Southwark Council, James Sellar, CEO of Sellar, and Alasdair Nicholls, Chief Executive of Native Land, presented their plans to a packed audience of architects, developers, property investors and local residents groups.
Historically the area has been one of the poorest in London, and before the arrival of the Tate Modern and Millennium Bridge in 2000, was seen to face away from the river. Now a number of large scale schemes including the Shard of Glass, NEO Bankside, Thameslink, London Bridge Station and the Tate Modern extension aim not only to create a new cultural quarter for central London, but also to improve the quality of life for local people.
The Shard of Glass, by developers Sellar, is currently under construction, and once completed in 2012 will be the tallest tower in London. James Sellar CEO predicts that the viewing gallery will attract around a million visitors a year, therefore playing an important role in attracting tourism, as well as providing prime office space.
The development of NEO Bankside is also proving a prime residential market, and is being marketed for its proximity and accessibility to the City, river, culture and education.
However, with narrow street patterns and a number of pinch points along the Thames path, Tim Stonor, Director of Space Syntax warned that a number of improvements to the public realm will need to be made in order to manage the increased footfall expected in the area.