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Weston Williamson and William Matthews unveil Euston ‘cube’ substation proposal

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Weston Williamson and Shard architect William Matthews have unveiled a new cube-like substation for Euston Station featuring a ‘breathable’ façade made of 13,000 ivory-coloured tiles

The four-storey vent shaft building, which will house technical equipment for the Northern Line, will be one of the first structures delivered as part of the wider redevelopment of the transport hub.

It will be tucked behind the Euston Road on Stephenson Way, on the site of a former UCL building currently being demolished. 

The structure is a replacement for the station’s existing substation and vent shaft facility – a former tube station on the corner of Drummond Street and Melton Street, which is set to be demolished to make way for HS2. 

Designed by Weston Williamson with Shard architect William Matthews, the substation is a ‘near perfect’ cube measuring 18 x 18 x 20m.

Plans have been submitted to Camden Council for the project, which features 13,000 individual ivory terracotta tiles tilted at different angles, some which will be perforated to allow extra air into the structure.

The tiles are a nod to the existing substation, which is clad in an ox-blood faience common to many Victorian-era London Underground stations, such as South Kensington, Great Portland Street and Covent Garden. 

HS2’s London Programme Director, Rob Carr said: ’The new vent shaft will be one of the first things we build and it’s important we get it right. I hope this intriguing, functional and contemporary design will be welcomed by all those who live, work and travel through Euston’.

Weston Williamson + Partners Managing Partner, Philip Breese said: ’The new Euston vent shaft will be an important building in the reconfiguration of the public spaces around the HS2 station.

’The imaginative cladding design has been developed to respond to the technical requirements of the structure and its position in an existing and part emerging townscape. The use of faience tiles aims to bring a human scale, reflect light and allow the shaft to breathe.’

Documents sent to Camden Council state the ambition for the project is to create a ‘local landmark of distinct architectural quality’.

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