Robert Buss: Bricklayers’ Arms Consolidation Centre


London is a world city. It is simultaneously expanding and contracting, growing ever-outwards – and upwards – yet on the brink of divorce from the neighbouring continent. The next generation of designers must deliver fresh thinking to tackle issues that range from the scale of the street to global climate change. We asked pioneering graduates from the LSA how they’d adapt London to ensure that it is inclusive of its citizens, integrated with nature and fit for the future.

Online retail and grocery shopping are on the rise. The fragmented and inefficient nature of logistics, delivery and waste removal services is leading to illegal levels of pollution, the worst congestion in Europe and the most dangerous roads in the UK. While online retail is blamed for the death of high street shopping, the resultant traffic stops us from being able to reinvigorate civic life on our streets.

In the face of these substantial problems, this urban strategy seeks to make the city safer, healthier and more sustainable through tackling inefficient and fragmented last-mile deliveries and waste in London.

A 12-hectare automated consolidation centre for parcels, groceries and waste provides facilities to transfer goods to electric vehicles and robots, while fields on the roof create a new park for the neighbourhood. A light rail system is inserted for mass freight haulage along Old Kent Road. The new Bakerloo Line station cuts a cross-section through the building, revealing its inner workings and connecting to a public market.

The project removes polluting vehicles from the streets, enables a circular economy, decentralises power and water, safeguards public green space and builds for the future of a sustainable planet.