Construction manager as design leader
On 07:30 on 20 September the redeveloped New Street station in central Birmingham was declared open (although any visitor can see that it is not finished). Tomorrow (24 September at 10:00), the Grand Central shopping centre above the station will be opened to the public.
The architect behind the station refurb said that it ‘could have been much better’ and that lessons must be learned, Architect’s Journal reported.
[Birmingham New Street falls short says scheme’s architect, Richard Waite, AJ, 23 September, 2015 (paywall)]
Alejandro Zaera-Polo landed the £750 million job following an international competition seven years ago while jointly heading up Foreign Office Architects and retained the project when he set up his new practice, AZPML.
However the Madrid-born designer walked away from the centrepiece atrium project at the heart of the redevelopment of the 1960s station after refusing to value-engineer its designs. Haskoll took over that part of the project early last year (AJ 20.02.14) with Atkins acting as project architects.
Zaera-Polo told the AJ: ‘While we are proud of our involvement in this project, which has recycled an old infrastructure instead of building a new one … we believe that it could have been much better.
[…] He added: ‘The fundamental problem in this project arose from the fact that, after the bids had been awarded to subcontractors, the construction manager was formally appointed as design leader of the project. So, rather than concentrating on delivering what had been already agreed, bid for and awarded to the subcontractors, they attempted to down-spec different packages.
‘That was, in my view, a serious strategic mistake that produced several problems.’
Concept & Architects: AZPML
Type Of Project: Refurbishment
Structural engineer for atrium and external skin: AKTII
Engineers: Atkins M&E Engineers Atkins
Project Architect: Atkins
Design Team: Retail design team Haskoll and Hoare Lea
Client: Network Rail
Funding: Birmingham City Council, Network Rail, Department for Transport, Centro, Department for Business Innovation and Skills, European Regional Development Fund
Tender date: 2008 & 2009
Start on site date: 2009
Contract duration: 2009-2015 – Mace appointed principal contractor 2010. Platform works continue to 2016.
Gross internal floor area: Lower mezzanine – 3,000m²; platforms – 8,000m²; concourse – 20,000m²; upper mezzanine – 4,500m²; grand central – 17,000m²; JLP – 24,000m²; upper retail – 15,000m²; total – 91,500m²
Form of contract and/or procurement: Construction Management
Total cost: £750 million
M&e consultant: Atkins
Quantity surveyor: Faithful & Gould
Lighting consultant: Atkins and Hoare Lea
Principal contractor: Mace
Selected subcontractors and suppliers: NG Bailey, Coleman & Company, Elliott Thomas, Martifer UK, Fireclad, MPB, SAS, Vector Foiltech, Glazzard.