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Railtrack shortlists four for Waterloo expansion

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Railtrack has shortlisted four practices to take forward a major redevelopment of Waterloo station, the aj can reveal.

Railtrack has commissioned the four - understood to be hok, Nicholas Grimshaw & Partners, the smc Group and Gensler - to look at plans to expand the station. 'We're looking at a tall building along a similar scale as the others in the area,' said a spokesman. He rejected press reports that it might involve a building as high as 55 storeys, although the exact height of the project was 'open to debate' once the company has eventually settled on one team.

However, industry speculation that Railtrack might choose to steer clear of Nicholas Grimshaw and Partners after the practice's work with Eurostar on its terminal at the London station has been roundly condemned by Grimshaw director Andrew Whalley. 'That has no relevance to it whatsoever,' he told the aj.

The list's smc Group is headed up by McColl Group founder and former Conran Design Group man Stewart McColl. It operates as a group of architects, planners and designers, including Weston Williamson, Zeidler Roberts, SMC William Gower & Partners, and works across a range of sectors. One of its specialisms is transport termini such as airports and railway stations, and recent projects included plans for a major 220ha mixed development for Eurotunnel.

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