Ludgate House & Sampson House: Further Blackfriars/Bankside regeneration

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Tuesday 30 October 2012 9.20am
I noticed a story about this in CityAM this morning.

It includes a 48 storey tower on the downstream side of Blackfriars Bridge and some opening up of public space and 25,000sq ft of retail (just as buying stuff in shops seems to be going out of fashion)

Monday 28 January 2013 2.14pm
Does anyone agree with me that Sampson House on Bankside in Hopton Street should not be demolished? It is a fine piece of Brutalist architecture we will be losing to yet another bland housing development of exceedingly uninteresting squared up 'pack 'em in' extremely tall buildings with shops. Ugly to some, but surely this building is much more interesting than what is being proposed and is a movement in architecture that should be preserved - most similar buildings like it in the UK have gone. Having been a local resident for years and having it as my view - I have grown to like it a lot. It has interest and is surreal - like a space station. It could be converted - it has the quality of an art gallery - like the Tate Modern opposite. It's different/stands out from the rest and is extremely sturdy.
Not only that the developer is only providing the proposed development with 200 parking bays for well over 500 residencies. Theres possibly only 15-20 residents bays in Hopton Street as it is and a few visitors bays. You can see the proposals here:
Monday 28 January 2013 2.47pm
Actually I disagree K.One great advantage of walking along the South Bank is that you can't see it, and certainly Sampson House is one of the worst, (although you can, of course, gaze across the river at the Mermaid Theatre block.)

My objection to the proposal is that the buildings are too high, not necessarily aesthetically but because of the wind shear they will produce. Anyone who regularly walks past the 31's bulding will know what I mean. I was in Canary Wharf on Sunday and could only just stand up outside the North Side of Canada Square. I doubt most people thought it was a windy day. At least there you can go underground.

It is also why I do not favour the Elizabeth House development even though anything ought to be better than the current building. It will just be a wind tunnel.
Monday 28 January 2013 8.13pm
It certainly is a fine piece of brutalism! Thanks for pointing it out, I think I will cultivate more appreciation for it.

I would question how viable its future as a building is though. Can't be the most pleasant office accommodation. If it is going to be replaced, hope it's something equally bold. Most of the stuff going up is boring.
Monday 28 January 2013 8.25pm
When we were kids we'd wonder at that building,can't remember what we called it but it was something space related,30years later I was working there.

Agree with Zebedee,can't see what it could be turned into so it would remain an office.

To be honest, if we have to have these tower blocks that's the place to have one.
Monday 4 February 2013 12.09pm
But in that case theedy do you think The Hayward should come down as an eyesore that you have to look at? Everyone hated that in the 80s/90s. Now they love it. I agree that the eyesore across the river next to the Mermaid is horrendous - (I think a car park?) it has no rhyme or reason and should be sorted out, but Sampson House would make one mother of a design hotel or converted to designer flats...again most thought the Barbican or Brunswick centre was an eyesore in the 70-80s. Not so now.
Agree about wind sheer - didnt the council/architects of the Shard deny this is happening - especially along St Thomas street - I got blown off my feet once.
Hopton Street is already a wind tunnel
Wednesday 6 February 2013 5.47pm

only just caught up with this. Yes I would take out the Hayward, National and the rest. Not a fan of brutalism I am afraid.
Thursday 7 February 2013 10.49am
I think it is important to keep some brutalist buildings, but we do have the National, Hayward and the rest further up the river which will be preserved. I'm more conrned about the hight of the buildings. 48 storeys is an awfull lot...
Thursday 21 February 2013 1.21pm
Only found out today that Ludgate and Sampson Houses are due for demolition.

I quite like brutalist architecture and we should certainly preserve at least some of it. Not sure about Sampson House though. The building itself is a good example of brutalism, but it's kind of monolithic and not well suited to the site. I'm more sorry about Ludgate House going. It's kind of iconic.

Looked at the proposals and overall I like them. Much more public space and better access through the site. At the moment there is no access at all. I do however think the new tower will be too tall.

There seem to be a lot of 'too tall' new buildings at the moment. The Shard is great from a distance - I can see it from my windows, but now St Thomas St is like a windtunnel at ground level.

The same fate is befalling Blackfriars Road. Although I quite like the Palestra Building, I don't like the way it hangs over Blackfriars Road at the top. It's kind of claustrophobic. The one that is going up in front of where Bar 242 used to be seems to bulge out too. I'm hoping it is just the scaffolding, or it too will be claustrophobic. The new hotel on the corner of Meymott St is also too tall for the location. Even worse is the Ballet School building on Hatfields - it's not even finished yet, but much too tall for the site.

I'm not against tall buildings at all, but they should be appropriate for the site and area.
Thursday 3 October 2013 1.53pm
Going to planning committee next week:

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