Sym-pathetic design at Euston
Arup, the lead consultant on the HS2 ‘Euston 4.0’ / “Smoker’s Fingernail” design, has been “working closely with architects, Grimshaw, to produce an incremental staged design that will allow construction of the new high speed station while maintaining services at the existing station”.
[Arup, A new vision for Euston Station revealed, 10 Sep 2015]
The station’s vaulted roof will house 11 new high speed platforms which will be situated below street level. These new platforms will be built in two stages as part of a phased approach to enable existing services to continue operating, resulting in less disruption for passengers. And 11 existing platforms will be retained in the current station, which will serve the existing network.
The 25,260 sq m station will be fronted with a new 38 m glass façade, one of three new entrances which will transform the station into a light and airy destination with shops, restaurants and cafes. By underpinning support structures as part of the plans, it will allow a range of uses above the station to deliver the flexibility for a future decision on the wider redevelopment and regeneration of the area.
“The new designs are sympathetic to the existing Euston station and will turn this historic rail terminus into high speed transport hub. But the work doesn’t stop above ground. The new plans will look to enhance the current underground station to increase capacity and improve links with the rest of London.
“We’ve witnessed first-hand the benefits that can be delivered beyond capacity and transport links when we worked on the redevelopment of Kings Cross station and St Pancras station as part of our work on High Speed One. Euston station is an inspiring project that can see HS2 act as a catalyst to create a vibrant destination to visit, work and live.”
— John Turzynski, Project Director for the Euston Station development, Arup
“Grimshaw’s design for Euston Station will create some of the grandest civic station spaces in Britain. The new public spaces within the station will form a seamless continuation of the streets and squares which make up the city. The design enables new streets to be provided across the station, connecting surrounding communities and encouraging regeneration of the neighbouring area.”
— Declan McCafferty, Grimshaw Partner in charge of the Euston Station redevelopment
It would be possible to ‘build new platforms in two stages’, but the idea that the classic platforms on the west side could stay in use in phase one just doesn’t seem to be compatible with reality. Like its predecessors, Smoker’s Fingernail has an Alice in Wonderland air about it.