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Heritage PICTURED: The Old Kent Road Gasholders (left); Bear Gardens after its third rebuilding in 1648 (below); the site today ( far below).

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progressed. One example of this is the Southwark Fire Station. Concern had been growing about the fate of this 19th century former poorhouse on Southwark Bridge Road, until plans to build a new secondary school, sports facility and 199 homes were given the green light earlier this year. “The listed buildings of the fire station are going to be the new school, which is wonderful,” says Tsoukaris. “We wanted it to be sympathetic to the historic setting and I think we have succeeded. Aside from the architectural beauty, these buildings have proved they can stand the test of time and multiple uses.” Tsoukaris sees his team – which includes an archealogist, an urban forester and two conservation officers as “progressive”. He adds: “Conservation is about taking a strategic approach. It is not a stop to regeneration. Historic buildings define the character of the area. They are worth fighting for and are often the ones local people value most. But our job is not about preservation in aspic or wrapping Cling Film around buildings and saying ‘nothing should happen here’. We have to find solutions to save them, not only as heritage assets, but as our legacy for future generations.”

issue

20 winter 2018 49

22/11/2018 11:09

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Southwark magazine #20  

Over 20 issues, Southwark magazine has covered the transformation of the London borough, showcasing the influential buildings, strong commun...

Southwark magazine #20  

Over 20 issues, Southwark magazine has covered the transformation of the London borough, showcasing the influential buildings, strong commun...