Bankside Yards

Southwark

Bankside Yards
Title:Bankside Yards, Southwark
Markets:Residential, Public Realm, Cultural, Mixed-use
Client:Native Land
Services:Landscape architecture
Region:United Kingdom
Date:Ongoing
Team:Gillespies (Public Realm), PLP Architecture (Masterplanner, Buildings 2, 3 & 5), Stiff + Trevillion (Building 8) Allies & Morrison (Buildings 6 & 7), Make (Buildings 1 & 4)
Photography:CGI copyright PLP / Architecture, Make and Native Land
View project intro

Bankside Yards represents one of the largest developments currently underway in central London.

The 5.5-acre, £2.5bn mixed-use development masterplanned by PLP/Architecture for client Native Land encompasses eight new buildings, a biodiverse public realm designed by Gillespies, and the restoration of 14 Victorian railway arches, unlocking public access for the first time in 150 years. This transformative project will deliver a world-class blend of prime riverside residential, flagship workplaces, luxury hospitality, and outstanding cultural amenities.

Its implementation will radically reconfigure Sampson and Ludgate House, which have long formed an imposing barrier on either side of the elevated rail tracks near Blackfriars Station. Opening up the Victorian viaduct will create new pedestrian routes, replacing the cramped riverside walkway. The revitalised public realm will breathe new life into this once sterile area, shaping it into a vibrant city quarter that enriches London's urban fabric. With a range of spaces, including beautiful green areas accessible to all, the development will offer enriching experiences and social interactions for residents, workers, and the wider community.

Central to the mosaic of public realm improvements are a new urban square, east-west pedestrian links, and a north-south promenade, all strategically positioned to integrate with the newly redeveloped Blackfriars Station's south entrance concourse. Furthermore, new openings through the viaduct itself will enhance connectivity to the surrounding network of streets and transport facilities, including connections to the Low Line. This dynamic public realm is intricately tailored to complement the neighbourhood's unique identity and character, establishing a clear hierarchy of functions.

At the heart of this revitalisation lies the transformation of 14 Victorian railway arches, sealed for over a century and a half, into a series of dynamic venues poised to accommodate shops, restaurants, and performance spaces that will be a welcome addition to the high street.

The language of the urban landscape has been drawn from 1000 years of Bankside History and the proliferation of utilitarian yards that characterised this once-dense industrial quarter. This language of yards is echoed in both scale and material choices throughout the design. The greening and colonisation of planting reflect how world cities are evolving to make more resilient spaces that bring seasonality and well-being to all.

This ambitious new precinct, with its diverse and vibrant offer of events, performances, and exhibitions, will have far-reaching and positive impacts on the quality of life of the new and existing communities, enriching the local cultural scene and enhancing the existing range of experiences in this vibrant quarter of London.

The scale of this project means that it will be delivered over a period of years in phases. How these sections of the masterplan have been programmed has been carefully considered to ensure each phase delivers new pedestrian access, complete with a range of new public spaces