PLB : PLB and purcell land brief to care for London icon- Creative design and consultancy for cultural and natural heritage

PLB and purcell land brief to care for London icon

Tower Bridge, London


Malton-based heritage design consultancy PLB is embarking on a project that will safeguard the cultural significance of one of London’s highest profile landmarks.

The PLB team is working alongside architecture, design and historic consultancy firm, Purcell, to deliver a conservation management plan for Tower Bridge for the City of London.

The Grade 1 Listed, 11,300-tonne steel structure was completed in 1894. One of the most famous bridges in Britain, it was originally built to overcome traffic congestion in the capital, provide pedestrian access across the River Thames and enable ocean going shipping to navigate the pool of London.

Today, it contains two visitor attractions, which tell the story of the bridge, allow views from the walkways and provide access to the display and interpretation of the preserved Victorian steam engines and hydraulic equipment below it.

The conservation management plan will help the City of London plan the medium and long-term management of the Tower Bridge site and identify ways in which it can adapt to meet new challenges whilst safeguarding its cultural, historical and structural significance.

PLB projects director, Sarah Oswald, says, “Tower Bridge is a unique and complex structure. As well as being a celebrated example of structural and civil engineering, it is a vast, operational piece of machinery, an important piece of transport infrastructure in the capital and an icon within the cityscape with local, national and international significance.

“This means that its future development and care must take into account heritage and conservation, structural and building maintenance and highways and traffic issues.

"We are delivering a consultation programme that will inform the development of the overall conservation management plan and engage both internal and external stakeholders. Our work will include using consultations to inform a ‘statement of significance’ and the heritage values associated with the bridge, identifying risks and opportunities as well as recommending future policies and guidelines.

“We will also use our knowledge and understanding of audiences and interpretation to review and comment on interpretation and access within the context of the plan and to explore the potential for developing oral history to support the documented understanding of the bridge.”

Mark Goldspink, Chief Executive Purcell, adds: “It is a fantastic privilege to provide architectural services to one of the world’s iconic city landmarks. Our expertise will ensure a continuing future for this masterpiece of Victorian architecture and engineering.”

PLB, which provides a range of heritage consultancy and design services to organisations throughout the UK, has undertaken similar conservation management projects closer to home for Castle Howard and Leeds Municipal Buildings.

Purcell provides funding and planning advice, heritage consultancy, conservation and architectural design. The practice has undertaken conservation work for many of London’s best loved buildings and places. Recent projects include the Leighton House Museum, the British Museum, Southwark Cathedral and Lincolns Inn.

The team will complete the project in February 2013.

Posted 10th December 2012

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