Southwark Gateway Needle


Eric Parry Architects
London Borough of Southwark
Main Contractor:
Portland Stone:
Independent Basebed
Scope of Project:
Regeneration of Southwark Gateway area

The project comprised the regeneration of the Southwark Gateway area to provide a tourist information centre, public open space and a focal monument.

The London Borough of Southwark Planners were keen to regenerate an area which lacked an identity and to create a public space and prominent feature for all to enjoy.

The Planners took care and consideration when formulating their plans for the area and undertook detailed analysis of the area including filming the site for 24 hours. Eric Parry Architects were then appointed to carry out the project.

While excavating the foundations for the Needle two large granite blocks were unearthed which dated

back to approximately 1826 and formed part of the John Rennie Bridge. These were thus incorporated into the project and were raised on stainless steel brackets to form a seating area.

Portland Independent Basebed was selected to construct the landmark needle and each block was carefully selected for its suitability for the project. The needle was made from 25 specially shaped stone blocks.

The structure of the Needle was designed with a 19.5° lean, it was therefore important that the internal tensioning system, which consisted of six stainless steel rods, was able to support the structure.

Structural Engineers calculated the forces in each joint in order to size the internal tensioning system.