Crossrail has unveiled new images of stations in central and southeast London that will form part of the new Elizabeth Line when it opens in 2018.
The £14.8 billion Crossrail project is currently Europe’s largest infrastructure project and will result in the creation of a new rail line – the Elizabeth Line – which will range across London.
A total of ten new stations are being built as part of the project, while 30 existing stations on the line are being upgraded.
Crossrail says the new station visualisations demonstrate the organisation’s approach to design across the new network.
In underground spaces – from station platforms to the tops of escalators – Crossrail says it is using “consistent” architectural forms and materials to give passengers “a sense of familiarity right across the route”.
As passengers move upwards, bespoke design elements will be brought in so that each station will “have its own distinct character”, Crossrail says.
For example the new Paddington Station, which is being designed by architect Weston Williamson with AECOM, Gillespies and URS, will “echo the design legacy of Brunel’s existing terminus station”.
The new Farringdon station, which is being designed by Aedas with AECOM, Burns + Nice and URS, will take inspiration from the historic local trades of blacksmiths and the Brutalist architecture of the nearby Barbican.
Consistent features across the Elizabeth Line will include the use of sprayed concrete lining, which Crossrail says “has led to curved junctions and spaces that are larger in scale compared to existing London Underground assets”.
Glass-fibre reinforced concrete is used to clad the structural tunnel landing, which Crossrail says leaves “smooth, sweeping, curved edges that promote easy navigation and reduce blind spots for passengers”.
Each station will feature full-height platform edge screens that will provide lighting, wayfinding and information, while also separating passengers from oncoming trains.
Crossrail says it has used seven key design principles in the development of the Elizabeth Line: identity, clarity, consistency, inclusivity, sustainability, security and being people-focused.
It says: “For the first time in a major UK rail project, the stations, surrounding areas and the oversite developments have been designed at the same time.
“This integrated approach improves accessibility and comfort and knits the new stations to their surroundings.”
Crossrail says it has also prototyped various components – including the glass-fibre reinforced cladding – in order to refine the designs. This, it says, is a “rare opportunity” for an infrastructure project of such scale.
A series of permanent works of art will also be installed across the network, as part of the Culture Line project.
The first piece to be commissioned is Spencer Finch’s A Cloud Index artwork for Paddington Station, which will be embedded into the station’s 120m-long glass canopy.
Douglas Gordon and Richard Wright are creating pieces for Tottenham Court Road, while Michal Rovner is creating a digital artwork for Canary Wharf station.
All platforms on the network will be 250m long in order to accommodate the new Crossrail trains, which are 200m long and will be able to carry up to 1,500 passengers.
The trains are being designed by Barber Osgerby and Bombardier and will be “significantly longer” than existing London Underground trains, Crossrail says.