2013

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RIBA Competition Result: Architect announced to redesign London's new Policing HQ

Date:

14 October 2013

Press release contact:

Julia Davies
T: +44 (0)113 203 1490
E: julia.davies@riba.org

Renowned architects Allford Hall Monaghan Morris (AHMM) have been chosen to redesign London’s new police headquarters, it was announced today by the Mayor of London, Metropolitan Police Commissioner and the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).

The Mayor’s Office for Policing And Crime (MOPAC) is selling the current Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) headquarters, New Scotland Yard, and moving to more modern, cost effective offices at the iconic Curtis Green building on the Victoria Embankment in 2015. This will then be known as Scotland Yard.

A world-class field of architects responded to the RIBA design competition, launched in May 2013, to find the most suitable and financially viable proposal for the building. AHMM’s winning design envisages a police headquarters that will be more open and accessible and will help the Met to reconnect with the public, whilst respecting the heritage of the Whitehall Conservation Area in which it is sited.

Key design features include a new public entrance pavilion, extensions to the building itself and the creation of public open spaces. The world-famous revolving sign will be retained as well as the Eternal Flame and Roll of Honour, currently located at New Scotland Yard in Victoria.

AHMM is an international architecture practice based in the UK with experience of working on a number of major buildings in the UK and abroad.  They are currently undertaking a masterplan and redevelopment of the BBC television centre in White City and were recently announced as the architect for the new Google headquarters at King’s Cross. AHMM worked with specialist architects Haverstock to advise on the proposals.

The redevelopment of the Curtis Green building forms part of the largest ever transformation of the police estate to provide a more modern, efficient, secure and cost-effective estate - ensuring the MPS remains at the forefront of 21st century policing. The cost to the Met if they were to remain at NSY would be around £30 million, with £50 million additional spend needed for it to meet the specifications for a modern policing operation. By moving to the new site and cutting costs, the Met are able to invest in frontline policing, helping to keep officer numbers high, improve the technological capability of the force and develop facilities like a brand new, state of the art police training centre in Hendon.

The move to Curtis Green is part of the MOPAC/MPS Estate Strategy to update its underused and outdated estate. These changes will see a reduction of up to 300,000 sq m - a third of its overall size – helping to reach the MPS target of saving £500m per year by 2015/16.

The Met will now work with AHMM to develop the designs further before a planning application is submitted in 2014. Completion of the site is expected in 2015. 

Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime Stephen Greenhalgh said: “Scotland Yard is returning to its historical home in Whitehall. The new, smaller Met HQ will help deliver a 21st century police force and AHMM's design, which includes a public space, will help Londoners to reconnect with the Met. 

“By selling outdated and impractical buildings like the New Scotland Yard that are costly to maintain, we can reduce property running costs. The money raised from the sale of these buildings will be ploughed back into frontline policing so that our officers are equipped with the tools and technology they need to fight crime and to continue to keep London safe.”

MPS Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan Howe said: “Scotland Yard is an internationally recognised and highly respected brand and the architects final designs for the building will, we hope, reflect and enhance this status.

“Whilst providing modern, efficient and secure premises for our staff, the move will release substantial sums to be reinvested back in to other policing services. This is a significant and exciting move for us and marks the new era of 21st century policing for the MPS. It allows us to save money while improving our estate.”

Paul Monaghan, Director, Allford Hall Monaghan Morris said: “We are delighted to have won the competition to design the new HQ for the Metropolitan Police within the historic setting of the Curtis Green building. This is a very important project for AHMM with the opportunity to work with one of the most significant and longest established law enforcement bodies in the world. We look forward to working with the Metropolitan Police Service to develop a building that supports them in their changing role within the city.”

Bill Taylor, RIBA Competitions Adviser said: “Through the careful extension of the public realm across the site and consideration of its neighbours in massing and materiality terms, these proposals will serve to strengthen this cohesion. ‘Weaving’ the heritage and culture of the Metropolitan Police into the fabric of the building and the spaces that surround it, the proposals strike a balance between respect for what already exists and the desire of the client to present a new, open and progressive face to the community they serve.”

Notes to editors

- An image of the submitted design by the chosen architect AHMM is available from Press Bureau-020 7230 2171.

- Haverstock is an architectural practice with a specific focus on public-sector projects and has designed buildings including police stations, schools and offices. More information can be found via www.haverstock.com/.

- Scotland Yard has moved several times before – from Whitehall Place to Great Scotland Yard in 1875, to the Norman Shaw building in 1890 and to the current building in 1967. This future move therefore marks a return to its previous location

- The sale of the current New Scotland Yard will look to generate receipts in excess of £180m to reinvest into estate.

- The Curtis Green Building (1935-40) was designed by William Curtis Green architect as an annex to the former New Scotland Yard (now the Norman Shaw building). It was occupied by the MPS after the Second World War to house the MPS forensics and other technology departments. It became in due course a police station, before (1985) becoming home to the HQ of MPS Territorial Policing until the building was vacated in 2010. A range of options improving choice. 

- The police estate is vast and expensive, with almost 500 buildings, costing £203 million a year to run

- The Estate Strategy is available at www.london.gov.uk/priorities/policing-crime and covers the entire MOPAC estate including police stations, forensic labs, firing ranges, training grounds, horse and dog centres, offices and custody facilities. It draws on the best examples from both the public private sectors for space efficiency and modern working. Combines with investment in new and refurbished buildings, this will ensure the Met has a modern, well equipped and efficient estate suitable for current and future policing.

- Please ensure RIBA Competitions are credited when mentioning the above competition. Competitions deliver exciting buildings and projects; they drive up quality, stimulate creativity and innovation and generate a range of options improving choice. RIBA Competitions is the Royal Institute of British Architect’s unit dedicated to organising architectural and other design-related competitions. For further details visit www.architecture.com/competitions

- The Metropolitan Police (MPS) was founded in 1829, and is the largest police force in the UK and is amongst the largest in the world. Headquartered in New Scotland Yard, the MPS delivers territorial and specialist policing services to over eight million Londoners across 620 square miles; to millions of commuters, tourists and visitors to our City; and to many National and International communities. The MPS organisational mission is to make London the safest major city in the world. The MPS primary role is to cut crime and to maintain public order on our streets. We are focused on preventing crime, targeting offenders, supporting victims, and building on the support and trust of Londoners. For further details visit www.met.police.uk

MEDIA ENQUIRIES FOR MOPAC : Call Rebecca Miller on 020 7983 4754 or email policing@london.gov.uk (not for publication)

GENERAL PUBLIC/NON-MEDIA ENQUIRIES: Call the Public Liaison Unit at the Greater London Authority on 020 7983 4100

DUTY PRESS OFFICER: For out-of-hours media enquiries, please call 020 7983 4000

 

 

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