All change for Blackfriars Bridge
Will Alsop believes that Alsop and Stormer’s design for a new Thameslink 2000 station at Blackfriars will ‘give a real sense of arrival and heightened experience to the commuter at 08.00 on a Monday morning in midJanuary’.
The four-track station spans the River Thames alongside the existing Blackfriars Road Bridge, and acts as the nub of Railtrack’s proposed super-efficient regional metro network linking counties north of London to Kent, Surrey and Sussex. It will have ticket offices on the north and south banks of the river. The transparent glass and steel structure has a 25m-wide glass roof canopy, kept as low as possible to preserve views from the existing bridge towards St Paul’s Cathedral. It is supported by 60m longitudinal trusses spanning on to futuristic torpedo trusses which take the loading down through new twin tusk columns positioned by the existing disused masonry bridge piers of the former London Chatham and Dover railway. These old piers also form the base for a new west platform, serving a terminating track and enclosed to the west by an undulating glazed screen which is distorted at either end to merge with the new north and south ticket halls.
The south ticket hall is located in the existing bridge abutment among flying buttresses and high-level jack arches; this will necessitate re-routing the recently completed Riverside Walkway in front of the abutment. The north ticket hall, serving as the main station entrance, is a dramatic semi-enclosed threestorey space covered by an irregular shaped copper-clad shell.
If Railtrack’s proposal for Thameslink 2000 survives its public enquiry period, due to start this summer, and gets the go-ahead from the Secretary of State in autumn 1999, Alsop and Stormer’s Blackfriars station will start on site early in 2000. As it will be seen from key vantage points, Alsop and Stormer is keen to get it right. ‘We have tried to come up with a design of merit which the City can be proud of, ’ says Peter Angrave, director in charge of the project.
CLIENT Railtrack plc
ARCHITECT Alsop & Stormer
STRUCTURAL ENGINEER Anthony Hunt Associates
BRIDGE ENGINEER W S Atkins & Partners
QUANTITY SURVEYOR Hanscombs
PROJECT CO-ORDINATOR Mace
SERVICES CONSULTANT Mott Macdonald
TRANSPORT CONSULTANT Arup Transportation
DETAIL MODEL Network Model Makers
LARGE STATION MODEL Unit 22 model makers
PHOTOGRAPHS Roderick Coyne
CAD PHOTOMONTAGE Virtual Artworks