Iconic Design

7 December 2012 – 7:03 am


Europe’s tallest completed building, the Shard stands at nearly 310 metres and dominates the new London skyline. At street level there has also been much re-development, with an updated London Bridge Station, a glass and metal European style affair.

The area buzzes with old and new, the nearby Borough market adding new retailers, emporiums and food outlets on a monthly basis.

In contrast, it seems the area’s new bus station designers do not have a feel for the area or catch too many buses. An opportunity totally missed. Drab, not thought through, not user friendly, poor.

The blank sheet of a large new-build site, could have seen a modern and stylistic transport hub, a doyen of design magazines globally, this would be quite fitting and appropriate for the cool, urbanly manicured area. However, what has been created is a series of illogical bus stops in a wind swept corridor. Cold and biting in December, the weather coming off the nearby Thames to be further accelerated by the upward draft of the new Shard. The natural elements and their symbiosis with the development, another design oversight.

It is amazing so much thought could be given to the surrounding area and so little to this major transport hub. This was an ideal opportunity to integrate rail, Underground and bus. What the area has ended up with is a slightly modernised version of what went before, designed circa 1975, before modern materials and and ease of developing complex structures. It is the antithesis of the excellently executed Jubilee Line extension of the late 1990s, with its well designed industrial style airy stations, which are now to be expected in a major global city.

No doubt at some stage not too far away, at further expense, the London Bridge hub will need to be revisited and planned accordingly.

The clock pictured is one of the more positive parts of the new endeavour, synonymous with transport, it takes more than a cue from the famous Swiss railway clock licensed around the world, including to organisations such as Apple for its iPhone and iPad products.

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