Work begins on £2.5m revamp of historic south east London railway arches

Work has begun on a £2.5million restoration project to revive four 19th century railway arches in Southwark which will deliver new spaces for local businesses. <i>(Image: Cartwright Communications)</i>
Work has begun on a £2.5million restoration project to revive four 19th century railway arches in Southwark which will deliver new spaces for local businesses. (Image: Cartwright Communications)

Work has begun on a £2.5million restoration project to revive four 19th century railway arches in Southwark which will deliver new spaces for local businesses.

The arches, located under a 19th century railway viaduct in America Street between Southwark Bridge Road and Great Guildford Street, are set to undergo a major revamp costing £2.5m.

The area is within close proximity of Borough and Southwark Stations and within walking distance of London Bridge and Waterloo Stations.

The project, orchestrated by Stephen George + Partners (SGP) working alongside partners Pick Everard, will include the re-lining of all arch spaces, new insulated floor slabs suitable for restaurant use, and glazed front infills.

The works will involve creating contemporary spaces that nod to the railway heritage of the arches and will open up new spaces for local businesses including restaurants, cafes, bars and other leisure spaces.

All four arches are intended to achieve an EPC ‘B’ rating in line with relevant energy efficiency standards.

SGP studio director, Alan Soper, said: “We firmly believe that the adaptive re-use of former industrial buildings can play a significant role in the revitalisation of our urban centres and the redevelopment of these railway arches on America Street is a prime example of the transformative potential of these important assets.

“Located in an area undergoing significant renewal and encompassing the Low Line urban regeneration initiative, the America Street scheme will transform previously unloved arches into contemporary spaces for new leisure, food and drink and retail businesses.

“Their prime location and Arch Company’s investment will help to create a vibrant destination for the neighbourhood, while also supporting local businesses and the wider community.”

The new redevelopments were created in a site-specific response and are aimed at offering contemporary and adaptable spaces for all would-be tenants.

This project is one of more than ten projects commissioned by SGP, including two planning projects that have been given the green light in Manchester, and others in London in Crucifix Lane and Witan Street with works underway, which are due to completed soon.

Santosh Patel, strategic account director at Pick Everard, said: “This unique project will transform America Street's historic railway arches into a vibrant cultural hub.

“By converting these once disused spaces into bustling restaurants, cafés, and bars, we are not just revitalising the arches but fostering a community and destination that supports local business and community.

“Our teams have worked closely with the client and architectural team on investigation works of the existing site, to allow efficient structural and drainage solutions to be designed.

“Our building services team have also coordinated with local electricity network providers to construct a new substation, to provide sufficient power to the new development, and have designed the necessary ventilation, power and lighting solutions for the new arch fitouts. We eagerly look forward to seeing the completion of this transformative project."