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Revealed: the 45 members of the new HS2 design panel


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:

  1. Paul Appleby, Sustainability Consultant
  2. Reuben Arnold, senior vice-president, marketing and customer experience, Virgin Atlantic Airways
  3. Hiro Aso, head of Transport and Infrastructure, Gensler
  4. David Bonnett, director, David Bonnett Associates
  5. Adam Brown, partner, Landolt + Brown
  6. Patricia Brown, director, Central
  7. Tony Burton, community and sustainability consultant
  8. James O’Callaghan, director at Eckersley O’Callaghan
  9. Caroline Cole, director, Colander Associates
  10. Annie Coombs, landscape architecture consultant
  11. Nathalie De Vries, director, MVRDV
  12. Dan Epstein, director of sustainability, Useful Simple Projects
  13. Daisy Froud, Community Consultation Consultant
  14. Richard George, group managing director at Interfleet
  15. Johanna Gibbons, partner, J&L Gibbons
  16. Clive Grinyer, customer experience director, Barclays
  17. Tom Holbrook, director, 5th Studio
  18. Glenn Howells, Glenn Howells Architects
  19. Hanif Kara, design director and co-founder, AKT II
  20. David Kester, principal, David Kester & Associates
  21. Martin Knight, managing director of Knight Architects
  22. Alister Kratt, board director, LDA Design
  23. Alistair Lenczner, director, Expedition Engineering
  24. Mike Luddy, managing director, London Royal Docks
  25. Selina Mason, board director of LDA Design
  26. Peter Maxwell, head of design, London Legacy Development Corporation
  27. Kathryn Moore, professor of landscape architecture, Birmingham City University
  28. Marie Bak Mortensen, head of exhibitions, RIBA
  29. Lucy Musgrave, director, Publica
  30. Greg Nugent, co-founder of Incorporated London
  31. Kevin Owens, director, WilsonOwensOwens
  32. Tina Paillet, head of UK and North America, Generali Real Estate
  33. Carol Patterson, director, OMA
  34. Luke Pearson, director, Pearson Lloyd
  35. Sam Richards, head of urban integration at Crossrail
  36. Jonathan Sands, chairman of Elmwood Design
  37. Ann Sawyer, principal of Access=Design
  38. Nicholas Serota, director, Tate
  39. Les Sparks, Urban Design Consultant
  40. Martin Stockley, engineering chief, Moscow State Development
  41. Ben Terrett, group design director, the Co-Operative Group
  42. Raymond Turner, Raymond Turner Associates
  43. Paul Watson, principal of PRW Strategic Advice
  44. Simon Wright, programme director, Crossrail
  45. 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.’


Readers' comments (6)

  • All together now:

    Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all,
    Oh...Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all....and all....

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  • ....all except the Cabeites, that is.

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  • Not a lot of heritage input.../??

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  • And Brunel managed his railway all on his own... and to no doubt better and less expensive effect...

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  • Well done those appointees. My congratulations. The iconic photo of Brunel, wearing his top hat and surrounded by chains should be handed to all new members of the panel. By the way, did HS2 talk to Design Council/Cabe about appointments? Where's the joined up thinking there?
    Interestingly the speed of HS2 will be 250 mph. which is rather low considering the French ran a TGV at 320 mph in 2007. The current operational speed of a TGV 2N2 is 200 mph carrying its capacity of 509 passengers, so our engineering ambitions are not very high. Because we are a nation of Luddites, where modernity and progress are enemies of the masses, the new panel and the HS2 company will have to work hard to push all this forward. We needed HS2, 3 and 4 years ago, so please, new panel, move fast now and push the boundaries of engineering and appearance to make up for lost time.

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  • If this wretched vanity project must go ahead, perhaps at least the famous Warwickshire pear tree could be saved in place of the Kenilworth golf course. Undefined 'sustainability' gets a few hits, ecology goes unmentioned. Tony Burton? That's probably more likely to happen - a better vote-winner - than saving the social housing at the Euston end, being needlessly sacrificed when the line could terminate at Old Oak.

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