An early scoping report has been submitted for a 22,000m² expansion of the 1983 five-storey Brutalist landmark next to its more famous relative, Lasdun’s Grade II*-listed National Theatre which opened in 1976.
According to the document, lodged with Lambeth Council, the plans could include a three-storey extension taking the building up to a height of 42m, as well as partial demolition of some of the existing structure and the addition of a new core. The report adds that the original building’s design and existing floorplates are no longer ‘fit for purpose’.
The redevelopment will provide more office space for the US technology giant and feature shops on ground level as well as ‘green or blue’ roofs.
The plans for the 1.2ha site at 76/78 Upper Ground are backed by Wolfe Asset Management, owned by Dubai-based investment company Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group. The developer is reported to be Stanhope.
The IBM Building sits in a heritage hotspot, surrounded by six listed buildings including the National Theatre, Grade II*-listed Waterloo Bridge and the Grade I-listed Royal Festival Hall and Somerset House.
Although not on the national list, the IBM block is one of a clutch of buildings which were locally listed by Lambeth Council in 2010. However there was controversy last year over the decision not to list the nearby Southbank Centre, which includes the Hayward Gallery, Queen Elizabeth Hall and Purcell Room.
According to the report, the new building could provide room for an additional 2,000 staff to add to the existing 2,350 who currently work at IBM.
AHMM and Stanhope declined to comment. IBM was approached for comment.