TfL picks Native Land for South Kensington tube makeover

By Paul Norman - Tuesday, March 06, 2018 11:51

Transport for London has picked Native Land as its partner for the redevelopment of South Kensington Tube station.

The plans will see the station upgraded and the surrounding land developed.

TfL has selected Native Land as its preferred joint venture partner to develop the land owned by TfL around the station.

Native Land saw off a shortlist that included Chelsfield and Crosstree. Savills has been advising TfL.

It said "the development will be respectful to the character of the local area and will provide step-free access to the District and Circle line platforms via a new entrance on Thurloe Street". The scheme will also improve access to the pedestrian subway leading to local destinations including the Science Museum, Imperial College, the Natural History Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum.

A key part of the development will be the ability to improve the properties around the station including the four storey buildings at 20-34 Thurloe Street, with the potential to create opportunities along TfL’s stretch of land on Pelham Street to Thurloe Square and on the distinctive Bullnose building. The site also includes the main station entrances through the Grade II listed shopping arcade, which will be preserved and further restored, and a second entrance via the Grade II listed pedestrian subway.

Subject to contracts, TfL will now work with Native Land and its preferred architecture firm, Rogers Stirk Harbour and Partners, to develop proposals for the site. Consultation and engagement with the local community will happen later this year. Subject to planning permission, the development including step-free access to the District and Circle line, could be complete in 2022.

Graeme Craig, Director of Commercial Development Director at Transport for London said: “It’s hugely exciting to be working with partners who are renowned for such iconic and transformative projects. Together, we can create a development that reflects its historic legacy and unique setting as a gateway to some of the most important and treasured cultural institutions in the world. We look forward to working closely with Native Land, and the community, to bring forward respectful development proposals that generate vital revenue to reinvest in transport and provide step-free access for millions of journeys.”

In January 2018, TfL was granted Listed Building Consent by Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, for proposals to upgrade South Kensington station. Designed by architectWeston Williamson, the upgrade work will include rebuilding a new eastbound District and Circle line platform, and expanding the ticket hall and gate line to facilitate quicker, more pleasant journeys for customers using the station. This work is due to start in spring 2018.

Mark Wild, Managing Director of London Underground, said: “South Kensington is a vital station for our customers, providing a link to so many of London’s world-renowned cultural institutions. Upgrading the station will make a massive difference for millions of customers every year. Improving the accessibility of our network is enormously important to both the Mayor and to us, and we are determined to continue to make improvements across London.”

Alasdair Nicholls, Chief Executive of Native Land, said: “It's great to be selected as the preferred partner for this important London project. We are keen to work with TfL to progress proposals for a high-quality, mixed-use development which is authentic to this very special location.”

Sir Michael Dixon, Director of the Natural History Museum and Co-Chair of the Exhibition Road Cultural Group, said: “Today’s announcement marks an important milestone in the transformation of one of the world’s leading cultural areas. Three-quarters of our Museum’s visitors arrive at South Kensington station, and it is vital that everyone should enjoy a fitting welcome if we are to realise our vision of making the cultural institutions of South Kensington as accessible and inclusive as possible. At the Natural History Museum we have also made this a priority and have recently completed a redevelopment of our own main entrance to allow step-free access - something we are working towards achieving across our site.”

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