Situated in the London Borough District of Southwark, the former Southwark Fire station is Grade II listed and one of the oldest listed buildings in the area. Sitting within the SE1 postcode it occupies a sought-after locale within close proximity of both Borough Market and Tate Modern.
Originally built in 1878 by chief architect to the Brigade, under the Metropolitan Board of Works, Alfred Mott, it was later extended in 1911 by architect W E Brooks. The 1878 section was built using brick with terracotta and stone dressings, it has a tiled roof and moulded chimney stacks. The elevation facing Southwark Bridge Road is a four-storey Gothic Revival section to the left of which sits a five-storey watch tower.
However, in 2014 and after 146 years of public service, Southwark Fire Station closed its doors. It was later sold off in 2019 and the whole area rescued from dereliction. It is now undergoing a redevelopment phase as a community-minded, multi-use site.
Collado Collins were the chosen architects and successfully secured planning for the redevelopment of the site in Southwark. Ardmore Construction Ltd won the £85million main contract to redevelop the site, and TRC were contracted to refurbish 250 of the existing windows and doors.
When completed, the overall redevelopment will include a total of 199 residential homes beautifully dovetailing the Grade II listed buildings and the newest of contemporary architecture. The apartments and duplexes within the scheme will be a mix of one, two and three-bedrooms all of which will be focused on a central courtyard. The communal spaces will boast residents’ only lounges with concierge and work-hubs, a gym and a private dining room, along with rooftop terraces boasting breath-taking panoramic views of the city. The project will also contain a community element inclusive of a secondary school, sixth form and sports hall and landscaping to encourage biodiversity, public realm works and green spaces plus infrastructure to accommodate both cycle and disabled parking. Once developed the impressive residential area will adopt a new name of ‘Brigade Court’ paying homage to its important historic past.
The current redevelopment is of course sensitive to the historical importance of the area and will complement the original aesthetics of the building. The exterior faced of the building plays an important role in the visual impact, so it was vital that windows and doors were sympathetically repaired or replaced.
Working To Maintain The Integrity and Historical Architectural Features
Our primary approach was to treat the building in a sensitive manner and to maintain the integrity of the historic architectural features. It was also vitally important to inflict as little impact as possible onto the fabric of the building.
TRC manufactured and installed a number of new traditional sash windows and 36 new high performance crittall windows. The windows were detailed replicas of the originals, both sympathetically manufactured and installed in the newly formed window openings throughout the building. When repair was required to the existing frames, both modern and traditional methods of repair were used. This included concealed draft proofing to ensure thermal performance and acoustic benefits of the building were improved, and the sustainability of the refurbed windows could be guaranteed.
All the work undertaken was carried out in accordance with the method statements of TRC Contracts Ltd specialist sub‐contractor, and in agreement with the Conservation Officer. The expected completion date of the full redevelopment if expected early 2021.