New London Architecture

Vinegar Yard

Planning Granted

A life-sciences led, mixed-use development that will lead the new SC1 Life Science and Innovation District, deliver significant public realm improvements, and meet ambitious lifecycle carbon targets.

Vinegar Yard is designed to accommodate flexible medical use and to support the emerging Guy’s and St Thomas’s medical and research hub, alongside retail, commercial and affordable workspace. A new urban garden and additional public realm improvements will contribute to Southwark’s ongoing work to improve connections across the borough and regenerate the wider area.
Healthcare and life sciences are rapidly evolving disciplines that require highly-resilient buildings that are designed for a loose-fit and a long-life, with the potential to be refitted in response to the changing requirements of tenants and the potential of new technologies. The design team worked closely with the GLA and Guy’s and St Thomas’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, using the Guys and St Thomas Adaptable Estates Strategy to allow flexible medical and R&D use. This included increased floor-to-floor heights, a more rigid structure to control vibration, and spatial provision for systems to support healthcare use.
The building has a distinctive stepped profile, rising to 20 storeys, composed as a series of carefully assembled volumes that respond to the sensitivities of the immediate context. Inspired by traditional warehouse architecture, the facades are differentiated through subtle variations within a palette of brick, terracotta, stone and glazing.
At its base, the building is active on all sides, with retail frontages and visual and physical permeability that will animate the new urban garden and surrounding streets. Above, its stepped arrangement creates a series of outdoor landscaped terraces for use by occupants. Small gardens also animate the façade and provide additional outdoor green space.
Targeting a BREEAM Outstanding and WELL Building Institute Gold standard with Platinum Fit-out. A 27% reduction in embodied carbon has been set against the GLA Benchmark and the project is targeting embodied carbon below 800 kgCO2e/m2.

John Bushell, Design Principal, Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates:
“Life sciences are an increasingly important element in the UK property sector, and our experience around the world tells us that innovation blossoms within a thriving mixed-use neighbourhood. That is central to our approach at Vinegar Yard, and we are looking forward to seeing it take shape.
“A successful innovation district creates opportunities for people from different fields to interact, which requires both a variety of different workplaces to be located within close proximity of each other and the social infrastructure that ensures that people actually cross paths – whether that’s buying coffee, attending an exhibition or chatting on a terrace. It’s the opposite of highly-specialised knowledge silos, rather creating the atmosphere where leaders in their field can exchange ideas and socialise – and while they’re doing this discover new areas of overlap or interest.
“Connecting the benefits of the development with Southwark’s diverse community is just as vital to the success of our building and the SC1 District. We have listened and directly responded to local aspirations so that the scheme delivers lasting improvements to the borough.”

Project information


Planning Granted




34190 sq m

Estimated completion

December 2028


78 St Thomas St, London SE1 3QX, UK

Team Credits


Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF)


CIT Group

Structural Engineer




Landscape Design

Spacehub Design Ltd

Sustainability Consultant

Trium Environmental Consulting

Quantity Surveyor


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