New images reveal a space-age feel to designs that mix textural station halls with sleek tunnels, writes Jon Astbury
New images released by Crossrail highlight the progress being made with the architectural fit out of the Elizabeth line stations in central London. The images highlight the common architectural components used to create a recognisable look and feel to the railway, as well as bespoke elements designed to reflect the character of local areas.
If the extension of the Jubilee line in the 1990s opted for a high-tech feel, with cavernous bare concrete spaces criss-crossed by polished metal, the Elizabeth line has gone for a sleeker, more parametric offering, with glass-fibre reinforced concrete (GRC) tunnels having more than a hint of the space-age about them. The stations and ticket halls themselves are more textural, having been given brick and concrete treatments inspired by nearby landmarks.
Atkins, Grimshaw, GIA Equation and Maynard worked on all of the common GRC components, with Hawkins\Brown completing works at Tottenham Court Road, Aedas at Farringdon and Weston Williamson at Paddington and Woolwich. Paddington features bespoke brick panels and columns inspired by the adjacent Grade II-listed station, while Farringdon’s deep coffered ceilings were inspired by the neighbouring Barbican Estate.
The design and architecture of the new railway is currently on display at the London Transport Museum. The Design Line: Stations, Art and Public Space on London’s Newest Railway contains images, films and models of the stations, with exhibits including a bespoke wall panel from Tottenham Court Road and a prototype station clock.
Crossrail head of architecture Julian Robinson said: ‘Crossrail is working with the best architects and engineers in the world to create a railway that builds upon the unrivalled heritage of London and its iconic transport network. As the project passes 85 per cent complete, these new images highlight the progress being made to install the architectural elements that will soon become familiar to the hundreds of thousands of passengers who will use the Elizabeth line every day when it opens in December 2018.’
Transport for London’s operations director for the Elizabeth line Howard Smith said: ‘It’s excellent to see the new stations for the Elizabeth line really beginning to take shape ahead of the trains running through them from next December. It won’t be long before customers get to experience these spacious, state-of-the-art, accessible stations for themselves. They really will transform the journeys for millions of Londoners, sure to surprise and delight those travelling through them.’