This simulation is produced in photoshop using a view of Bermondsey Street from outside the Fashion and Textile Museum and separate images of Centrepoint.  Contary to what Southwark Council have been telling objectors, it corresponds closely with Sellar’s proposal, as can be seen from the picture below of their own model.







The picture was taken by Harley Gray on his phone at Sellar’s proposal meeting in December 2008.  Harley was stopped from taking any more by Sellar’s representatives.





TestThe Times created this image in February 2008 of how the ’3 Houses’ may look (click to enlarge)




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  1. John Corey says:

    A few questions.

    In the first photo the camera is facing north. The shadow from any building would naturally fall in the direction of the river and over the train tracks. The idea that the buildings would block the light is a bit off. Depending on the reflective properties the buildings might even bounce light into the Bermondsey Street area.

    Can Harley Gray tell us the origination of the photo of the model? I am guessing that the model shows the new buildings on St Thomas Street with the tallest one being closest to the Shard or London Bridge. It looks like the station and train tracks in the lower left of the photo.

    In the Image produced by the Times the label implies we are talking about three residential buildings [3 Houses]. Are the buildings meant to be residential, commercial or mixed use? If residential I would assume there would be a large percentage of social housing as per London guidelines. I believe an architect said the normal guidelines would be 30% of the housing units need to be ‘affordable’.

  2. John Corey says:

    There is an older article in Building Design ( where they talk about an early sketch for the site. Three towers, seemly for residential use.

    The architects as the time are Herzog & de Meuron. This is the same firm that did the Tate Modern and the Bird’s Nest stadium for the China Olympics

    The link will take you to the actual image. You can click back to read the article. Do remember it is from a while ago so not likely to be the current thinking. Less likely given the model in the photo earlier in this blog entry.

  3. russell gray says:

    I’m not sure I’ll be able to keep up with your comments John.

    It is correct that the photo taken by Harley is a view from St Thomas Street. The photo was taken at the presentation by Sellar in December 08.

    On sunlight. The scheme would block direct sunlight to the most northerly buildings in Bermondsey St before the railway viaduct in the afternoon/evening. Direct sunlight is of course not the only consideration – indirect light being sometimes far more important. Artists studios are – as I am sure you are aware – traditionally north facing. The quality of light would be changed throughout a much larger part of Bermondsey St. It would be drasticallly affected for the residents of Snowsfields and Ironically it would cast Southwark Council’s offices into afternoon shade. If you want to do a light study it would be most welcome and helpful and you can have access to all our buildings.

    You are correct that the original proposal was entirely residential (plus a relatively small hotel component if I remember correctly). A rough calculation shows the private flats will have to sell for an average of around £1.5million apiece. BS or what? A more detailed economic analysis will follow as soon as I have time to produce it.

    Aren’t you getting a bit too far ahead of the SPD issue and local consultation? Maybe go to the Simon Hughes feature and we can have the skyscraper debate later.

  4. John Corey says:


    Thanks for keeping the communication flowing. Time is important now so lots of communication is good at this point.

    For an unrelated reason I have been tracking the sun over the last 15 to 18 months. Based on what I have observed, the possible impact from a tower on Bermondsey Street appears to be very limited (mostly very late in the day during late June and early July).

    The info concerning artist studios is completely new to me. Thanks for sharing that. I would expect that artists are also sensitive to the level of rent so an uptick in the economics of the area could be a threat.

    As to focusing on the SPD rather than what a specific building might do if one was proposed, there we agree completely. The SPD is what is on the table and that is the foundation for any future planning proposal.

    I am not sure I understand what you mean when you say “go to the Simon Hughes feature…” I will search around.

  5. John Corey says:


    One thing I forgot to say in my prior reply.

    I am more than willing to help with the financial analysis. Figuring out what flats would sell for and other details is something I have a bit of practice with. Just let me know when you want some help on this.

  6. Russell. says:

    How about the light study first John? Optics is less subjective than economics.

  7. John Corey says:

    There is an article on the SE1 website that is about 14 months old. Likely things have moved on since then. At the same time I think it highlights a couple of things which should be considered.

    The title of the article is: Details emerge of ‘Three Houses’ skyscrapers at London Bridge
    The link is:

    One point in the article is the residential component of the towers (30 stories, 53 stories and 64). 370 residential units were being suggested. Given the rules in London 30% or more would need to be social housing or otherwise designed to be more affordable to key workers.

    That would create close to 100 ‘affordable’ homes close to a major transport hub and employment centre. There would be some clear environmental advantages to such a cluster of housing (all types). Would some of the concerns with the towers shift if they contributed housing to the area?

    There is also a reference to a 28 story residential tower for students. The building would be slightly west of Weston and not part of the complex being discussed under the banner of “Seller’s plans”. Housing for King’s and within the Tall Building area.

    Any views? Guy’s does have a problem with substandard student housing. Some students live some distance from the campus. How a student tower would shift the demand is unclear.

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