Leake Street Arches

Corstorphine + Wright

This project has seen eight former railway arches brought back to life to provide a curated collection of independent restaurants and bars that capture the essence of urban culture.

Covering arches from Addington Street and Leake Street, part of the site is under the over-reaching concrete structure of Grimshaw Architects' seminal Waterloo International Terminal (Eurostar).

An area-based masterplan (by Grimshaw) identified the tunnel as a key link to stitch the major attractions of the South Bank into the more residential areas of North Lambeth. LCR set out on a plan to improve usage of the sometimes-unwelcoming street though activation of the spaces adjoining it, together with discrete and sensitive interventions to the street itself.

Preserving and enhancing the unique un-curated street art gallery, was identified as a central requirement of the project. The design team engaged closely with the graffiti community, local stakeholders and the London Borough of Lambeth planning and regeneration teams to develop the brief for this sensitive location.

The use of industrial type materials of the highest quality complement Waterloo's heritage, enhancing both the Victorian industrial architecture and the late 20th Century's former International Terminal on the Westminster Bridge Road frontage. Working directly with graffiti artists, the design team developed a bespoke lighting system based on gallery lighting to reduce glare onto artworks.

Already the project has provided significant benefits to the local community. The lighting installation has transformed the previously unwelcoming tunnel into a well-lit street art gallery connecting York Way to Lower Marsh. An additional pedestrianised tunnel has further improved permeability. Graffiti artists have benefited both from the lighting upgrade (which better highlights their canvas and encourages more visitors) and from commissioned projects from tenants. As a more hospitable place, the community has been able to attend a number of free events, including Lumiere Festival.


Leake Street
United Kingdom


Steve Frither
Associate Director




Practical completion




  • Conservation
  • Historic
  • Landscaping
  • Public
  • Retail