Nicholas Grimshaw and Partners has unveiled its plans for a 42-storey tower and new concourse at Paddington station as part of Railtrack's £1 billion redevelopment plan across 14 stations (AJ 24.2.00).
Grimshaw 's was appointed to look to the station's development in 1996 and has already completed £60 million of Paddington work - new retail and ticketing facilities, and platform resurfacing. Now it wants to open up the station's east side and capitalise on the Heathrow Express' significant impact on passenger numbers and the area's property potential.
Brunel's design for the sheds rendered the entrance 'almost accidental and surprisingly mean' and the station seems to turn its back on the canal basin. So the practice proposes to demolish the 'semi-derelict' 1913-16 span four, and realign platforms, bringing inside a further two platforms and creating a new, 15th platform. These platforms would be contained inside 'lofty spaces' with vaulted roofs, 'almost Gothic in quality', big enough to take doubledecker trains. But English Heritage is expected to oppose the demolitions. Also proposed is a new taxi cab deck above the platforms, accessed by escalator and lift from the station and canal.And above that there will be a new service deck for the station and commercial development. This takes the form of a 42storey landmark tower, with highly glazed office cores set within the 'cathedral-like' public space of the new station, and with a 'gateway' building forming a second marker from the Westway road.