Southwark buildings up for prize

By Marco Cillario - Fri 6 January 2017, 2:44 pm

Two buildings in Southwark have been shortlisted for the Designs of the Year awards.

Switch House, the 10-storey extension of the Tate Modern, and community centre The Green in Nunhead were nominated in the architecture category of the awards recognising the best design in 2016. 

The £260 million pyramid-like Switch House, opened in June, was designed by Herzog & de Meuron and increased the art gallery’s capacity by 60%, adding 2,000sq m of space.

On the top floor, a roof terrace offers a 360-degree panoramic view over London.

A performance space at basement level, called The Tanks, is the world’s first museum gallery permanently dedicated to live art.

The other levels are occupied by the works of Picasso, Rothko and a range of other artists, along with a restaurant and space for workshops conferences, courses, film screenings and debates.

Designed by AOC architects, Nunhead’s The Green (top left) opened in January to host events and workshops. It provides acoustically separate spaces to accommodate different activities at the same time and a natural ventilation system to keep heating and air-conditioning costs low. It was built on a modest budget, with Southwark Council contributing £750,000, and the community was involved in the design process.

Other nominees for the accolade include OMA’s Fondazione Prada in Milan, Bjarke Ingels Group’s Via 57 West in New York, MAD Architects’ Opera House in Harbin, China, and Wayne Hemingway’s redesign of Margate’s Dreamland.

The winning project will be announced on 26 January 2017.

A third Southwark building is also nominated for an award. Canada Water Library is up for Best Project Five Years On at the London Planning Awards


The library was designed by Piers Gough of CZWG and was the winner of a RIBA Regional Award in 2012 and has continued to collect gongs.

During the last full year that the old Rotherhithe library was open (2010) there were 80,895 visitors and 79,125 books issued.

The new building, which opened in 2011, has transformed usage and there have been an average of 440,224 visitors with 353,570 books issued every year since.

The winners of the London Planning Awards will be crowned on 27 February during a ceremony at City Hall.