Design concepts for Waterloo Square revealed
According to Design Week, the designs created by EDAW, DSDHA and Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands (LDS) architects were short listed amongst 25 entries in the Waterloo City Square competition.EDAWâ€™s design entails closing existing subways and diverting the road system to stretch east of the British Film Institute Imax cinema, enabling a forecourt to Waterloo Square. Underpasses would be replaced by clear pedestrian routes with vistas, permitting allowances for a possible landmark structure on the site.DSDHAâ€™s proposal involves creation of a street-level entrance for the IMAX cinema. Buildings adjacent to and surrounding the station would be connected through a seamless streetscape and square.LDSâ€™ proposal entails the alignment of Waterloo Road with Waterloo Bridge, a move which they argue could possibly open a â€˜coherent and continuousâ€™ path fronted by bus stops and shops. This concept allows renovation of the existing IMAX cinema hall, should the IMAX screen be relocated in a new BFI complex. Five pocket parks would border the area, marking out important structures.Peter Bishop, chairman of the Waterloo City Square judging panel, stated that the design work prospects would depend on the competence of the developers and architects involved in the project. He asserted that the proposals should address traffic flow and navigation issues and support the cultural significance of the South Bank area.He said: â€œThe scheme has to unlock the potential of the area, which runs from the river right through to The Cut and The Old Vic. The proposals arbitrate between station interchange, the flows of pedestrians, cyclists, public transport and private vehicles.â€On January 31st, the South Bank Employersâ€™ Group will host a public consultation meeting on all three design concepts. After the consultation, the panel will meet up again to contemplate on the proposals.A decision regarding the final design concept will be made in March 2009.The final scheme for Waterloo City Square is expected to provide better connection between Waterloo Station, Waterloo Road, the IMAX roundabout and the riverside. It is also expected to improve links to transport interchanges and overall pedestrian safety, increase walking and cycling paths and enhance energy efficiency and sustainability.