Designers appointed to influence huge HS2 rail network

Clive Grinyer, Ben Terrett and Tate boss Sir Nicholas Serota are on a panel which will influence all design aspects of the massive public sector project.


Proposal for HS2 overhead line structures, by Moxon Architects with Mott MacDonald
Proposal for HS2 overhead line structures, by Moxon Architects with Mott MacDonald

Designers including Clive Grinyer, Ben Terrett, Jonathan Sands and Luke Pearson have been appointed to a new design panel which will influence the massive High Speed 2 rail proposals.

HS2 is a plan to build a high-speed rail link between London and Birmingham and then on to the North West and Yorkshire.

Should plans be fully approved – construction has been signed off but route details are currently at committee stage in the House of Commons – building could start in 2017 and trains could start running in 2026.

All aspects of design

A 43-strong independent panel has now been appointed, which will advise on all aspects of design for the project and features experts in digital, branding and product design as well as architects and landscape designers.

Members from this group will form part of the regional site-specific design panels – for example at Birmingham Curzon Street station.

Among those appointed are Barclays director of customer experience Clive Grinyer, Co-operative group design director Ben Terrett, PearsonLloyd co-founder Luke Pearson and Elmwood chairman Jonathan Sands.

“Cementing” design principles at early stage

They are joined by others including former Design Council chief executive David Kester, Tate Gallery director Sir Nicholas Serota, and architect Sadie Morgan, who chairs the panel.

The panel will build on the HS2 design principles of people, place and time, which were developed earlier this year by a team led by Kester and featuring designers including Thomas Heatherwick, Paul Priestman and Sophie Thomas.

The HS2 team says it is aiming to “cement” design principles in the project at an early stage and is influenced by projects such as London’s Olympic Park, which it says saw “success resulting from early implementation of a far-sighted design approach”.

“Making travel easy and pleasurable”

Transport Minister Robert Goodwill says: “This Independent Design Panel is crucial to ensure HS2 achieves its full potential for everyone. This includes making sure that passengers get the experience they want from HS2 and that it is sympathetic to the landscape through which it is built.

“We want HS2 to be a world class railway which maximises the benefits for the country. Having such a highly-skilled group of experts on board will help make travelling on it easy and pleasurable and ensure we have impressive stations to act as a catalyst for significant regeneration and economic growth.”

Discover more:

• HS2 is the biggest public project for decades – how can designers influence it?

• Heatherwick and others create HS2 “design vision”

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  • Adam Fennelow November 11, 2015 at 1:15 pm

    The DBA has also been contacted a number of times since the summer by HS2’s procurement/supply chain team asking for advice as they worked on their engagement strategy. It is heartening to see those running this huge project considering design at such an early stage.
    Adam Fennelow
    Services Director, DBA

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