Transport for London hunts designers

Transport for London is poised to launch two design competitions to find a new generation ofdesigners outside of its design roster, which is due for review next year.

The first competition, which is expected to launch over the coming month, will seek designers for the development oftram environments in Croydon, looking at safety, security, weather and information considerations. Implementation is expected to begin in March orApril 2009, with final designs expected to be submitted by October.

The second competition is thought to focus on the development of station entrances across London’s West End Underground network, including stations at Tottenham Court Road, Oxford Circus, Bond Street and Marble Arch.

The idea behind the competition is to make the entrances and stairwells more dynamic,more responsive to their environment, and better able to cope with the thousands of commuters that pass through them every day. Tenders are expected to be posted on the Official Journal of the European Union by the end of June.

Competition briefs, thought to be overseen by TfL group design manager Innes Ferguson, are still being put together. Ferguson was unavailable for comment.

The TfL design roster – comprising consultancies including Priest man Goode, Pearson Lloyd and MinaleTattersfield, and in place since 2006 – is up for rev iew next spring, while many of its long standing collaborators, such as product designer Kenneth Grange, are due for retirement. The ration ale behind the competitions is thought to be to widen the net and put in place a new framework.

Meanwhile, TfL is consoli dating its constituent offices in a phased move to a Will Alsop designed headquarters – The Palestra – based in Southwark, London SE1.

The multi-million pound development is thought to be the brainchild of TfL surface transport managing director David Brown, whose vision is to unite TfL’s various directorates in the Overground transport network, including the Congestion Charge, riverboats, taxis and buses.

PRS Architects is understoodto be working on office layout,while brand environment consultancy Household isthought to be devising an internal scheme, through which the organisation’s brand –focused on security, safety and concern for the environment –will manifest itself.

A combined heat and powerplant or fuel cell, visible fromthe outside of the building, is intended as a conspicuous gesture towards the organisation’s Green efforts. The TfL team will occupy eight floors by the time the project completes,with the London Development Agency occupy ing the first andsecond floors.


• Transport for London has two Official Journal of the European Union framework agreements, each with four consultancies, most of which are almost constantly commissioned for design

• TfL unveiled its London Overground service in 2006, featuring a new train fleet with livery concepts by Real 451 and interiors by Design Triangle

• 2D consultancies on the roster since 2006 include Bisquit, Minale Tattersfield, Frameworks Brandlogic and Real 451

• 3D consultancies on the roster since 2006 include Era Studio, JedCo, Pearson Lloyd and Priestman Goode

• Consultancies work alongside a 14-strong in-house team

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