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Shoreditch developers see The Light in skyscraper scheme

PUBLISHED: 08:01 02 September 2009 | UPDATED: 14:47 05 October 2010

Artist impression of how Light Bar will fit into Bishop's Place

Artist impression of how Light Bar will fit into Bishop's Place

ONE of London’s iconic Victorian railway buildings is being brought back to life after developers almost had it bulldozed. The facade of the Light Bar is being preserved’ and turned into a symbolic part of the new development at Shoreditch

By Will Davies

ONE of London’s iconic Victorian railway buildings is being brought back to life after developers almost had it bulldozed.

The Light Bar is being preserved’ and turned into a symbolic part of the new development at Shoreditch.

The preserved former power station that generated electricity for the Great Eastern Railway when Liverpool Street station was built in the 1880s had been standing in the way of developers’ controversial plans for a skyscraper complex of offices, hotel and housing.

It was saved last month when Hammerson’s agreed not to send in the bulldozers, but to incorporate it as part of the £500 million Bishop’s Place regeneration scheme.

RESTORE

The façade and walls are being carefully restored and cleaned up, with its bricked-up doorway and arching windows restored, pending local authority approval.

The red-brick building itself is to remain a bar at the foot of a new, 51-storey tower, although the extension at the back is being pulled down to make way for a garden for the new flat-dwellers.

A grassroots campaign to save The Light was started last year which finally won the preservation battle in February when Hackney Council extended the South Shoreditch conservation area to include The Light, forcing Hammerson’s back to the drawing board.

The developers conceded that the decision to include The Light was in response to concerns by the planning authority and the community.

The scheme was drawn up by architects from Norman Foster, designers of the Gherkin building at Aldgate and Wembley Stadium.


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