Southwark Gateway, London
Eric Parry Architects
Anyone coming to London Bridge station might well ask, "Why is there a tourist information centre in this benighted spot?" And, "Why is there a monument here?" Yet it is close to the Globe Theatre and the Bankside Tate Gallery, and its historical importance is second only to the City of London itself, just across the river. Eric Parry's Southwark Gateway rises to the challenge of the traffic dominated spot with a slanting, tapering stone needle. The information centre gives direct access to Tooley Street and the route to the Gallery as well as the necessary facilities; it also encourages dialogue between interior and exterior through glazed walls. It begins to give pedestrians priority over cars, and capitalise on Southwark's hidden charms.