Land Securities has submitted a planning application for the Architecture Foundation's new centre on Southwark Street designed by Zaha Hadid.
Famed for her buildings including the Rosenthal Centre for Contemporary Art in Cincinnati, US and the BMW building in Leipzig, Germany, the Architecture Foundation will be the Pritzker Prize winner's first public building to be built in the capital.
The new diamond-like design, clad in polished stainless steel, will – claim developers – generate a striking new point of interest within the Bankside 123 development.
"It is time that London had a new centre for architecture, a place of energy and ideas, to rival those in other cities across the world," says Zaha Hadid.
Rowan Moore, director of the Architecture Foundation, added: "We are really pleased with the way the project has developed. It will be a wonderful instrument for communicating architecture to the public, as well as a beautiful and unforgettable structure."
The Architecture Foundation will be organised over four levels united by a vertical glass-walled space that makes a powerful connection with the public realm outside. It will provide exhibition space on the ground, mezzanine and first floors, an events space on the first floor, and offices and a boardroom on the top floor. There is also provision for a café/bar on the ground floor.
The new home for British architecture will double as both the charity's headquarters and a purpose built public venue for exhibitions and events on architecture. It will be a place of creative ideas and activity where the public can engage with the best contemporary architecture.
"Southwark is fast becoming a vibrant cultural hub in London and the decision to house the headquarters of the UK's most important architecture institution here is testament to this," says Mike Hussey, managing director of Land Securities' London portfolio.