South Kensington tube station is getting a massive makeover

Train stations all over London are getting makeovers these days. Just this week it was announced that Peckham Rye would be getting a major £40 million facelift, and Liverpool Street station is soon going to replace food vendors with lots more ticket barriers. Now, South Kensington station is going to undergo a massive renovation. London’s train stations are glowing up, baby!

Native Land and Places for London have won their planning appeal to restore South Kensington Underground station and the surrounding streets. The property company, which is financially independent of TfL, initially submitted a proposal for the renovation in 2020, but it was blocked by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in 2021, despite the plans having received nearly 700 letters of support.

Now, locals’ wishes have been answered. The Grade II-listed South Kensington station, one of London’s busiest Underground stations, will be fitted with step-free access to the Circle and District lines. Its historic arcade will also be preserved and restored, while a new four-storey building at the front of the station will create a new gateway. In the surrounding streets, 50 homes will be built, with 35 percent of them being affordable. 

Designed by Stirling Prize-winning architect RSHP, the proposals have been considered to respect the heritage of the area, with historic building specialist Julian Harrap Architects will be called in to work on the heritage elements of the scheme.

Here are some renders of what the spruced-up area around South Ken station will look like. 

South Kensington station redevelopment
Image: Native Land / Places For London
South Kensington station redevelopment
Image: Native Land / Places For London

Alasdair Nicholls, chief executive of Native Land, said: ‘This decision brings a drawn-out planning process to a positive conclusion, achieving a rare consent for a major mixed-use sustainable development in a central London location.

‘This is a high-quality scheme that will protect the heritage of the station while bringing a renewed sense of place to South Kensington. When complete, it will create an experience befitting the gateway to London’s internationally renowned museum and cultural quarter.’

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