London Bridge to get new theater with Southwark Playhouse expansion
Image Foster + Partners

Southwark Playhouse is slated to have a new location at London Bridge in 2025.

The much-loved theater will be vacating its current home in Newington Causeway, with a newly announced site just outside London Bridge station.

The purpose-built new site will be part of the redevelopment of Colechurch House – the chunky concrete building from the 1960s that you might have walked through if you’ve ever followed the pedestrian walkway between the station and the bridge. This boy :

A four-story concrete building
Image via Google Street View

Foster + Partners’ designs will see this building demolished and rebuilt into a 100-meter mixed-use development. The plans show a building on stilts, perched on a ‘new landscaped garden’, with a new walkway on Duke Street Hill. It will look something like this:

A modern office building at night
Image Foster + Partners

The new venue would actually consist of two theaters, one with 250 seats and the other with 150. The move was made under an agreement with the developer of the new building, CIT. All of this is pending planning permission, which has yet to be granted by Southwark Council.

It’s an exciting time for Southwark Playhouse. The company looks forward to moving to a new, purpose-built location at Elephant and Castle in 2022. This second London Bridge location will allow the theater to “dramatically expand its award-winning arts and community programs.”

The view from London Bridge. The new Colechurch house is the staircase structure.

This is arguably the most difficult time in living memory for theaters, so it’s heartwarming to learn plans for new stages.

However, the new development will not be to everyone’s liking. Its construction will require the environmentally costly demolition of the existing concrete block. The replacement is much higher and interrupts views of the fragment. It will soon be joined by other mid-rise buildings.

See the planning app at Southwark Council.

Last updated on December 14, 2021