Save Britain’s Heritage has teamed up with architects Burrell Foley Fischer to devise a counter-proposal for King’s College London’s contentious overhaul of its Strand campus.
The alternative design involves restoring and refurbishing the historic buildings at 154-158 Strand, whose planned demolition to make way for a scheme by Hall McKnight prompted a public outcry.
It would also retain all of the Grade II-listed structure at 152-153, whereas the previous scheme – subsequently withdrawn – would have demolished all but the facade.
‘We consider it not enough to oppose, it’s more constructive to suggest something,’ says Save director Clem Cecil. ‘If we have a coherent, worked up proposal out there, there’s more chance of things being adopted.’
Save’s design includes pedestrianising the road between the university and the Grade I-listed St Mary-Le-Stand, an 18th-century church currently on a traffic island. It would also create a new entrance to the university campus, based on a Regency arch that was once there, connecting the Strand to the River Thames.
A lecture theatre would be built in the basement below the historic buildings at 152-158 and a glass atrium at the back would connect the different structures.
The preservation society now hopes for discussions with King’s about its campus development.
A spokesperson for the university said: ‘Since the withdrawal of our previous planning application for the Strand redevelopment we have acquired the extensive Bush House complex directly opposite, so we are naturally reviewing our requirements on the Strand Campus.
‘Once we have completed this review we intend to contact Save and other interested parties to discuss any new proposals.’