Birmingham’s new landmark HS2 stations a step closer, as designers are appointed
HS2 today revealed the world-leading architects, designers and engineers that will help develop the detailed plans for Birmingham Curzon Street and Birmingham Interchange – the largest new stations to be built in the West Midlands since the Victorian era.
The following designers will be awarded contracts to help develop and refine the detailed plans for the two stations, due to open in 2026:
- Birmingham Curzon Street – WSP UK Limited (working with Grimshaw Architects LLP)
- Birmingham Interchange – Ove Arup & Partners International Limited (working with Arup Associates and Wilkinson Eyre Architects Limited)
The winners have a track record of delivering cutting edge design with experience of some of the largest and most complex infrastructure projects in the world, including the Gateshead Millennium Bridge, The Eden Project in Cornwall, Biljmer Arena station in the Netherlands, and the refurbishment of London King’s Cross station.
HS2 Ltd Chief Executive, Mark Thurston said:
“Our new stations in Birmingham and Solihull will be at the heart of the first phase of the project, increasing capacity, improving journeys and helping to unlock opportunities for tens of thousands of new jobs and homes around what will be two new landmark buildings.
“That’s why I’m delighted to welcome these talented designers to the team, and we look forward to working with them to create station designs which showcase world-class architecture, ease of use and value for money that our passengers and communities expect and deserve.”
HS2 Minister Nusrat Ghani said:
“HS2 is a modern railway fit for Britain’s future, improving vital links between some of our country’s biggest cities, driving forward growth and significantly improving services for passengers with thousands more seats on faster trains.
“Appointing these leading creative firms ensures that passengers on our world-class railway will experience modern and accessible stations. I am confident that these firms will deliver these projects at value for money, with designs that are both innovative and in keeping with their surroundings.”
The new HS2 stations will be designed with input from local communities, using best practice principles from stations around the world, and guidelines and specifications endorsed by an independent panel of leading architects and designers.
Together the two station developments are at the heart of regeneration projects which are expected to create 50,000 jobs in Birmingham and Solihull.
Welcoming the news, Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street, said:
“The decision to appoint the team to design the HS2 station is an important step for a project which will have a truly transformational impact on the West Midlands. In addition to the connectivity and economic benefits of the investment in high speed rail infrastructure, the station itself will play a key part in the future growth of the city.
“The station will be so much more than a place to catch trains – it will be a catalyst, a gateway and a symbol of our resurgent region.”
Working with HS2 Ltd, the winners will be tasked with delivering:
- People-centred design, which offers a high-quality customer experience including shopping, business facilities, and opportunities for art and leisure
- Architecture which enables accessibility for all including step-free access from street-to-seat which is simple and intuitive to navigate
- ‘Timeless design’ for future-proofing and flexibility so stations accommodate changes in technology and in the population
- Respecting and contributing to the physical and cultural legacy of the location – responding to the local built and natural environment, using local materials and ensuring local people identify with their station and have pride in it
Birmingham Curzon Street
HS2 will deliver a brand new station in the heart of Birmingham. Curzon Street will be built next to the existing Moor Street Station and the Bullring shopping centre, on the site of the first Birmingham station, which opened in 1837 and closed in 1966.
A public plaza at the western (city centre) end of the station will welcome passengers, with seven 400m-long platforms providing services to core HS2 destinations as well as beyond, to the North West, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Newcastle and the North East.
Curzon Street is at the centre of Birmingham City Council’s Curzon Street Masterplan which includes 14,000 new jobs and 600,000 s/m of new development space across Eastside and Digbeth. An extension to the Midland Metro will also provide a connection to Birmingham’s tram network.
Birmingham Interchange will be located close to the National Exhibition Centre, to the east of the M42 near Solihull. A brand new station with four 400m-long platforms, it will also include a people-mover system to provide a direct link to Birmingham International station, the National Exhibition Centre and Birmingham Airport. Plans for new development around the station site led by the local authorities as part of the UK Central plan are expected to create more than 77,000 new jobs and 4,000 new homes.
An independent HS2 Design Panel has scrutinised HS2’s guidelines and specifications for the stations, and will continue to play a key role in reviewing the detailed designs as they develop through 2018.
Member of the Panel, Architect Les Sparks OBE, a former Director of Planning & Architecture at Birmingham City Council (1991-99), said:
“We welcome the appointment of these excellent design teams and look forward to working with them and HS2 to help deliver architecturally distinguished stations for Birmingham and Solihull that work well with their surroundings and provide our citizens and visitors with a convenient and uplifting experience on arrival and departure.”
HS2 today also confirmed that Ove Arup & Partners International Limited (working with Grimshaw Architects LLP) will work on the design for London Euston and WSP UK Limited (working with Wilkinson Eyre Architects Limited) on Old Oak Common, in west London.
A separate process to appoint firms to build Curzon Street and Interchange will begin later in the year. HS2 services from London and Birmingham will travel beyond the new high speed network via existing tracks to a wide range of destinations including Liverpool, The North West, Newcastle, Glasgow and Edinburgh.