Calatrava's Greenwich Peninsula scheme threatens Foster-designed transport hub

Calatrava's Greenwich Peninsula scheme threatens Foster-designed transport hub

The Twentieth Century Society is calling for a heritage listing to be applied to Foster + Partners' North Greenwich Interchange, which is threatened with demolition by Santiago Calatrava's recently unveiled £1 billion development.

The UK heritage body submitted a Grade II* listing application for the North Greenwich Interchange by Foster + Partners and the North Greenwich Underground Station by Alsop, Lyall & Stormer at at the end of 2016.

The application coincided with Greenwich council's decision to grant outline planning permission to developers Knight Dragon for the redevelopment of the peninsula – including a £1 billion complex by Spanish architect and engineer Santiago Calatrava on the site of the existing station and interchange.

Successful listing of the London tube station and interchange could curtail plans for Calatrava's scheme, while its rejection would spell demolition for one if not both.

The North Greenwich Interchange by Foster + Partners and the North Greenwich Underground Station by Alsop, Lyall & Stormer were built less than 20 years ago in 1998-9

The tube station and canopy above were created as part of the Jubilee Line extension in 1998-9. The Twentieth Century Society describes the structures as "outstanding" examples of architecture.

"Our application was not in response to shortcomings of the newly proposed scheme, but because we would deeply regret the loss of two recent and outstanding examples of late-20th-century infrastructure buildings," the society's conservation adviser Tess Pinto told Dezeen.

"We think they would warrant retention in any redevelopment of the peninsula."

Foster's 12-metre high canopy spans 160 metres across the station, supported by a network of branching columns. The crescent-shaped plane has one wavy edge, and shelters the station's entrance, bus stops and taxi drop-off points.

The station and interchange above are now threatened by a proposal for a £1 billion complex by Spanish architect and engineer Santiago Calatrava

Built on the site of a former gasworks, the transport hub improved access to the peninsula, paving the way for Richard Rogers' Millennium Dome next door.

"North Greenwich Interchange is a superb example of very late-20th-century transport infrastructure and is of exceptional architectural, historic and engineering interest," reads the listing application.

"It helped to transform ideas of what a transport interchange can be. Reflecting the best of modern technology and design, North Greenwich Underground Station and North Greenwich Interchange both fully meet the standard for listing at Grade II*."

"The station made the Dome possible and thereby became one of the busiest stations in London."

Built on the site of a former gasworks, the transport hub improved access to the peninsula, paving the way for Richard Rogers' Millennium Dome next door

Calatrava's Peninsula Palace would see the station rebuilt, and topped by a performance venue, winter gardens and a crown-like arrangement of towers containing apartments, a hotel and office. A bridge encased in latticework link the development to the nearby water front.

The project forms part of a wider redevelopment of the Greenwich Peninsula by developers Knight Dragon. Masterplanned by British practice Allies and Morrison, it is to include 15,000 new homes, as well as schools and healthcare facilities.

British firm Foster + Partners is currently working on a complex of stepped towers in Mecca, Poland's tallest tower and the transformation of Cedric Price's London zoo aviary into a home for monkeys.

The firm and its founder Norman Foster placed at number 13 on the inaugural Dezeen Hot List, a guide to the world's most read about industry figures.

Santiago Calatrava, who has offices in Zurich, Paris, New York and Dubai, is building the Dubai Creek Tower – a slender observation tower expected to surpass the 828-metre-high Burj Khalifa.

The architect – who came in at number 29 on the Dezeen Hot List – is also working on the UAE's national pavilion for the Dubai Expo 2020.