Union Green

Current Projects

RIBA Forgotten Spaces

Project: Union Green 
Location: 100-128 Union Street, SE1 0NW 
Landowner: Promote Investment Limited 

“The Patterns and Forms that make the Metropolis, in the 19th Century, the whole zone of land on the south bank was cut off from the villages and towns to the south of London by elevated railway lines, which contributed creations of forgotten spaces”. Terry Farrell, "Shaping London" 

Where: The “south bank” of London 

Why: We are currently working on a project for Better Bankside relating to the regenration of Borough High Street which drew our attention to Union Street and its special character. 
Site: Facing three ‘L’ shapes of 1970’s social housings, and a 1930’s building, which is currently occupied by the Headquarters of London Fire Brigade; in the west bordering on Ewer Street; to the east directly adjacent to a commercial and residential building; and, backed by railway viaduct. The site is located within the ‘Urban Interior’ as identified by the Urban Forest Report. The ‘Urban Interior’ is created by centuries of overlapping development patterns within the Bankside and Borough High Street and the river edge. The construction of the viaducts and Southwark Street, have further served to isolate this ‘urban interior’ from more diverse uses and activities. This quieter, less used ‘interior’ area is charaterised by its scattered small open spaces and strong local identity, and it acts as a counterbalance to the increasingly international, corporate large-scale developments that are being constructed and planned around its edges. 

Use and Ownership: Currently vacant, the site together with an additional plot of vacant land, 136-142 Union Street, adjacent to Ewer Street, is currently used by Ruskin Specialised Transport, as their depot. Part of the chosen site, 100-112 Union Street, was used as an art installation for the London Festival of Architecture in 2008, as Southwark Lido, to provide an architecturally innovative environment and setting with a variety of activities for local social gathering, ritual cleansing and uninhabited political discussions. 

Specific local requirements: Lack of green spaces; struggling businesses, insufficient people movement, quality of life for people living and working in the area can be improved.