London Bridge Staircase
The new London Bridge Staircase is part of the City of London's Riverside Walk Enhancement Strategy which seeks to create an enhanced, better connected and more vibrant route along the north bank of the Thames.
The new staircase is cantilevered over the River Thames, connecting London Bridge and the River Walkway on the north bank of the Thames. It is clearly identifiable and its curved landings offer panoramic views across the river and spectacular views of Tower Bridge. The new route is spacious and light, and benefits from natural surveillance, ensuring people now feel comfortable and safe when walking between the Bridge and the Riverside.
The site was identified by bere:architects as suitable for a new staircase, in spite of its many constraints. It is hemmed in by London Bridge and the Riverside Walkway beneath, and sits directly above London Underground's Northern Line. Furthermore, no vertical load could be carried by London Bridge at this location, and no loads could be put into the river wall beneath, nor directly into the river bed. So a series of 13.5 metre piles were drilled extremely carefully into neighbouring land, to avoid penetrating the Northern Line underground tunnel directly below.
The staircase was prefabricated off-site by the marvellous Littlehampton Welding, and lowered into place over the side of London Bridge over a series of weekend road closures, with Mackley Construction acting as a superbly capable main contractor. Capita performed the role of structural engineer, Keller took care of the specialist piling design and installation, and Quentin Newark of Atelier Works designed the exquisite information panels. Photography by Peter Cook Photo.