Bat & Ball
© Paul Childs

Rooted in heritage, reaching for the future

architectum edition #39

Bat & Ball
© Paul Childs

Peckham Rye Station, South London

in United Kingdom

Bat & Ball
© Paul Childs

Products used

Taylors patent roof tiles, Keymer

Rooted in heritage, reaching for the future

Renovating an almost 160-year-old railway station in South London is a daring challenge. With a newly re-tiled roof Peckham Rye Station, designed by the Victorian railway architect Charles Henry Driver, now aims
for another 100 years.

The Victorian building back to its former glory

A project this extensive held many challenges for the local practice, Benedict O’Looney Architects. Very close attention had to be paid to materials and detailing, since the building was listed. Another condition was for the station to stay fully operational at all times throughout the renovation. 

Birds’ perspective

Re-tiling the roof was a substantial part of the complete renovation. While examining the original contract drawings and photographs from that era, it became clear to the architects that the four wing roofs originally featured clay tiles, which appear to have been lost during the inter-war period. During the restoration fragments of these original roof tiles were found, showing them to be a light brown colour, which beautifully matched the external brickwork. The architects shared these fragments with wienerberger who came back with a technique for matching the original tile colours.
The team collaborated closely with Benedict O’Looney Architects to explore various shades, ultimately settling on a combination of three tones that complemented the station’s 19th-century brick and stonework beautifully. The result was roof tiles in three tones from yellow to beige closely replicating the original tiles’ appearance.

Preserving historical legacy

Benedict O’Looney, lead architect, praised wienerberger as one of Britain’s leading manufacturers of Victorian roof tiles and was particularly impressed with their adaptability and thoroughness. He said: “wienerberger’s custom tiles perfectly echo the original Victorian design of the Peckham Rye Station roof, powerfully recreating the station’s original materiality. These new roof tiles are made to last, ensuring the station’s roof remains weather-tight and good looking for years to come.“
“Working with the wienerberger team was a delight; they are very experienced and always on-hand to help with any queries. The team at Broomfleet tileworks led by the Heritage Service Manager, Nigel Dyer, were patient at getting the colour matching right and understood the chemistry in creating the glazes we needed. I could completely trust wienerberger to do an excellent job, and there was little debate when deciding on a tile manufacturer to work with.” 

Bat & Ball
© Paul Childs

Facts & Figures

Project name: Peckham Rye Station, South London, United Kingdom

Architecture  Benedict O’Looney Architects

Client  Network Rail with co-funding from Railway Heritage Trust and the Heritage of London Trust

Year of completion   2023

Product used  Taylors patent roof tiles, Keymer

Building type  Public

Published in  architectum #39

Bat & Ball
© Paul Childs

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