Borough Market

Integrating infrastructure at an historic London market

A significant contribution to London’s infrastructure, this award-winning project involved routing a new rail viaduct through the heart of the historic Borough Market, remodelling listed buildings, and adding a new glazed market hall, covered market structure and mixed-use buildings. The market’s 19th-century glazed roof was taken down, carefully restored, upgraded, and re-erected in a new configuration. Melding infrastructure and architecture in one of London’s most complex conservation areas, the project shows what is possible when development is carefully balanced with heritage.

“It's the overall achievement of managing to drive a 400m-long new railway viaduct, vital to the Thameslink route, right through the heart of a much-loved historic market without killing it [that matters].”

RIBA Journal




Placemaking Awards - Shortlist


RIBAJ Regional Award - Winner


Civic Trust - Merit


Network Rail Partnership Awards: Heritage - Winner


Network Rail Partnership Awards: Best Large Project - Winner


New London Architecture Award - Winner


BCI Awards: Best Practice - Winner


BCI Awards: Major Civil Engineering Project of the Year - Finalist

Borough Market
Project info
  • Size 400m
  • Location London, UK
  • Client Network Rail (The Hop Exchange)
  • Year 2013
  • Status Built

Amid interweaving historic rail viaducts, streets, buildings and market spaces, we delivered a vital piece of rail infrastructure, supported by a sequence of sensitive architectural interventions. What started out as a transport project evolved into a model for how to integrate significant engineering into a cultural heritage context.

The new viaduct forms part of Network Rail’s Thameslink programme to substantially increase capacity through the new London Bridge Station, a vital scheme as London grows and prioritises public transport. As well as stretching across Borough High Street with a striking steel bridge, the 400m-long viaduct runs through Borough Market itself, taking care to avoid the listed public house, The Globe Tavern.

The work included carefully dismantling, restoring and reconfiguring the 19th-century cast iron market roofs over the historic market hall to accommodate the new geometry of the viaduct. Along the viaduct’s length, the project included more than a dozen individual schemes, a mix of new build, remodelling and restoration, to stitch back the urban fabric, reinvigorate the market and make the public realm more legible once the viaduct was complete. Works included remodelling listed buildings, replacing others with modern retail and office buildings, and a new entrance to the market.

To enable the market community to continue trading during the works, we delivered a distinctive temporary market structure, comprising a cluster of tubular steel branches supporting a lightweight ETFE roof. This new market space has proved so popular that it has become a permanent expansion of Borough Market.

Below the viaduct and on the corner of Borough High Street, a landmark new retail unit and glazed market hall was completed. Its design adopts a simple steel frame with a glazed screen along the street frontages, formed with overlapping glass panels. Gently sloping glazed roofs, including a separate roof between the old and new viaduct structures, incorporate a printed leaf design that casts shadows below.

On the other side of Borough High Street, we designed a mixed-use retail and office building, clad in Portland stone and zinc, which fronts a generous new urban piazza.