Neighbourhoods /

London Bridge

The original terminus of the Greenwich to London Bridge Railway viaduct built in the early 19th Century, London Bridge station is the exit and entry point of the Low Line in the London Bridge area. Railway lines have been added over time, with a total of 15 platforms in the station making an incredibly wide stretch of railway. This houses deep railway arches that are accessed from both north and south and are punctuated by slightly forbidding tunnels.

The station can be a barrier to the Low Line experience, as the walking route morphs with one of the UK's busiest railway stations, which has recently undergone an impressive redevelopment, though it includes little by way of greenery in this busy Central London district. The route can either take you north along Duke Street Hill and Tooley Street, with its impressive new station forecourt and food and drink focused railway arches, which are still opening following the station works. Or the route can take you south along St Thomas Street, with a new station exit to the south, a row of carefully restored arches and wide new footways — a section is adjacent to a huge row of development sites currently going through consultation and planning. Alternatively, the Low Line route can take you right through the station under the Shard, with its impressive western arcade and wide-ranging retail offer.

Once out of the station and heading east, the arches take on a different character and feel. The row of arches and under-croft in Holyrood Street are still being used to serve the station redevelopment. Soon this space will become available, becoming a Low Line focus area for public realm and activated arches. Beyond this space, several interesting sites and new projects interact with the viaduct, including a wildflower meadow, skate park and St John's churchyard. On the northern side on Crucifix Lane, arches are occupied by a mix of uses, but access soon becomes blocked, although opportunities to 'punch-through' are still being sought while arches are brought into use.

© Royal Institute of British Architects 2019