Tate director Nicholas Serota, engineer Hanif Kara and former AOC co-founder Daisy Froud have been named alongside an eclectic mix of industry experts on High Speed 2’s (HS2) new independent design panel
Chaired by dRMM director Sadie Morgan, the 45-strong panel includes architects, landscape designers, sustainability specialists, business figures, academics, brand consultants, infrastructure experts and community engagement professionals (see the full list below).
According to Morgan, the advisory group will ‘mentor and inspire HS2 to design a transformational railway system which will exceed all of our expectations’.
She added: ‘The British creative and engineering industry is already delivering outstanding examples of design excellence around the world. HS2 is a huge opportunity to bring that brilliance home.’
Architects Glenn Howells, David Bonnett, Nathalie de Vries of MVRDV, Tom Holbrook of 5th Studio, Hiro Aso of Gensler, Beatrix Young of Farrells, Martin Knight of Knight Architects, Ann Sawyer of Access=Design and Adam Brown of Landolt and Brown will also sit on the panel.
The multibillion pound HS2 project will be a Y-shaped rail network initially linking London and Birmingham (phase one) before joining up with Manchester and Leeds (phase two).
Members will be asked to contribute to the ‘project’s development in areas where their specialist experience and opinion is required’ and will form regional design panels for specific sites, such as Birmingham Curzon Street station. According to HS2, the group is more of a ‘pool’ of talent with individuals called on at various stages when needed.
Transport Minister Robert Goodwill said: ‘This independent design panel is crucial to ensure HS2 achieves its full potential for everyone.
‘This includes making sure that passengers get the experience they want from HS2 and that it is sympathetic to the landscape through which it is built.’
He added: ‘We want HS2 to be a world-class railway which maximises the benefits for the country. Having such a highly skilled group of experts on board will help make travelling on it easy and pleasurable and ensure we have impressive stations to act as a catalyst for significant regeneration and economic growth.’
Panel in full:
- Paul Appleby, Sustainability Consultant
- Reuben Arnold, senior vice-president, marketing and customer experience, Virgin Atlantic Airways
- Hiro Aso, head of Transport and Infrastructure, Gensler
- David Bonnett, director, David Bonnett Associates
- Adam Brown, partner, Landolt + Brown
- Patricia Brown, director, Central
- Tony Burton, community and sustainability consultant
- James O’Callaghan, director at Eckersley O’Callaghan
- Caroline Cole, director, Colander Associates
- Annie Coombs, landscape architecture consultant
- Nathalie De Vries, director, MVRDV
- Dan Epstein, director of sustainability, Useful Simple Projects
- Daisy Froud, Community Consultation Consultant
- Richard George, group managing director at Interfleet
- Johanna Gibbons, partner, J&L Gibbons
- Clive Grinyer, customer experience director, Barclays
- Tom Holbrook, director, 5th Studio
- Glenn Howells, Glenn Howells Architects
- Hanif Kara, design director and co-founder, AKT II
- David Kester, principal, David Kester & Associates
- Martin Knight, managing director of Knight Architects
- Alister Kratt, board director, LDA Design
- Alistair Lenczner, director, Expedition Engineering
- Mike Luddy, managing director, London Royal Docks
- Selina Mason, board director of LDA Design
- Peter Maxwell, head of design, London Legacy Development Corporation
- Kathryn Moore, professor of landscape architecture, Birmingham City University
- Marie Bak Mortensen, head of exhibitions, RIBA
- Lucy Musgrave, director, Publica
- Greg Nugent, co-founder of Incorporated London
- Kevin Owens, director, WilsonOwensOwens
- Tina Paillet, head of UK and North America, Generali Real Estate
- Carol Patterson, director, OMA
- Luke Pearson, director, Pearson Lloyd
- Sam Richards, head of urban integration at Crossrail
- Jonathan Sands, chairman of Elmwood Design
- Ann Sawyer, principal of Access=Design
- Nicholas Serota, director, Tate
- Les Sparks, Urban Design Consultant
- Martin Stockley, engineering chief, Moscow State Development
- Ben Terrett, group design director, the Co-Operative Group
- Raymond Turner, Raymond Turner Associates
- Paul Watson, principal of PRW Strategic Advice
- Simon Wright, programme director, Crossrail
- Beatrix Young, partner, Farrells
Comment - Rory Olcayto, AJ editor
‘It’s great to see so many experts - and architects – on Sadie Morgan’s HS2 design panel. But 45 people in all? That must be a record. The idea is that given the sheer scale of the project, ‘hit squads’ will be able to tackle specific matters as they arise. But shouldn’t those specific matters be attended to by the actual design and delivery teams responsible for them?
‘Having a bespoke design panel hovering over your shoulder might not always be so comforting. What HS2 needs is consistency encompassing the full scope of works: so I would have thought a smaller panel, where decisions will be easier to make, would have been a more sensible approach.
‘There’s a real danger of too many cooks here. Equally odd is the overly London-centric nature of the panel. It’s an 80-20 mix in the capital’s favour. Critics who say the project is more about making it easier to commute to London, than building a hi-tech national rail network, now have some ammunition. Of course, there are no Scots.
HS2 is an English project that will never extend to Scotland
‘The unspoken truth is that HS2 is an English project that will never extend to Scotland whether it remains as part of the UK or not. One more point: it’s great to see a graphic designer on the panel – Ben Terrett – given the amazing typographic heritage bestowed on the sector by the work of Margaret Calvert.
‘But what about our built heritage? HS2 is cutting through a castle swathe of ancient England – this project needs a history man or woman sitting on its panel.’