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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.

CREDITS

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

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