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FOA's New Street Station scheme gets green light

Councillors in Birmingham have given the thumbs-up to Foreign Office Architect (FOA)’s £600 million redevelopment of the city’s main railway station

The gateway scheme will, according to Network Rail, ‘drag New Street Station into the 21st century’ while providing improved railway links in and out of England’s second city as part of a £2.3 billion stimulus package for the local economy.

The new development will see passenger numbers at the station double thanks to a new concourse which will be three-and-a-half times larger than the current offering.

Preparatory work for the new concourse has been taking place since last September and has been earmarked for completion in 2012.

The second phase of the development will then see the current concourse undergo development work for completion in 2015.

The project is backed by Network Rail, Birmingham City Council, Advantage West Midlands, Centro and the Department for Transport and will be delivered by Network Rail.

Councillor Mike Whitby, leader of Birmingham City Council, said: ‘The redeveloped New Street Gateway will provide a focal point for far wider regeneration of the entire city over the next 10-15 years, and is one of the main components of the city’s £6bn worth of publicly funded regeneration projects currently on our books.’


Previous story (AJ 15.01.10)

CABE warns of dumbing down on FOA’s New Street Station

CABE has raised fears that Foreign Office Architect’s (FOA) proposed redevelopment of New Street Station in Birmingham could be watered down by client Network Rail

The government’s design watchdog cautioned the client and local authority against whittling down the design detail on the scheme, urging them to keep the concept architect on the job.

CABE said: ‘We can already see signs of some slippage and are concerned that the cumulative effect of many minor changes could result in a significant loss of quality.

‘We can already see signs of some slippage and are concerned that the cumulative effect of many minor changes could result in a significant loss of quality.’

‘We […] urge the client to reappoint the concept architect to provide executive design guidance over all aspects of the station design’.

But a spokesperson for Network rail refuted that FOA, which is reportedly about to split, was being sidelined: ‘The architects who developed the concepts are working with us on the detail and will continue to do so until the design is fully complete.

 ‘CABE have given their wholehearted support to our planning application for the Gateway project, which aims to transform Birmingham New Street station into a 21st century transport hub.

‘We are confident that the Gateway project will turn New Street into the world-class station that our passengers and the city deserve.’

Project architect at FOA Christof Trenner said: ‘We went through a pretty long process with CABE with various reviews and we are very happy with what we received in the end’.

Readers' comments (2)

  • What is actually happening to the platform will it still be a cross between a gas chamber and a urinal?
    From what I’v seen this seems to be an expensive reclading job as the expression goes you cannot polish a turd.
    This building may be ugly but that’s not its main problem. Its main problem is the building is badly organised and the diesel fumes from the trains are choking will this be FOA first terrible scheme?

    Unsuitable or offensive?


    If you let FAO have there way and you are bound to get an exciting facade!

    Unsuitable or offensive?

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