Reworked designs of Grimshaw and WSP’s proposed High Speed 2 (HS2) station at Curzon Street in Birmingham city centre have been revealed
As further reports emerge about the escalating cost and scope of the controversial HS2 project, updated proposals for Arup’s Solihull Interchange were also released.
Last year the practices’ ‘initial designs’ came under fire from West Midlands mayor Andy Street, who said the plans for both had all ‘all the quirkiness and charm of Stansted airport’s baggage drop-off area’ and should be looked at again.
His comments followed similarly critical remarks made by Labour’s MP for Birmingham Hodge Hill, Liam Byrne, who said the plans for the HS2 hub at Curzon Street did not do the city justice.
According to HS2, the two new projects will become the ’most environmentally friendly railway stations in the world’.
The latest designs for Curzon Street have now gone on display at Millennium Point as part of a ’fortnight of engagement events’ ahead of planning applications being submitted to Birmingham City Council.
Billed as ’the first brand new intercity terminus station built in Britain since the since the 19th century’, Curzon Street station could open in 2026, providing seven platforms, new public space, and integration with an extended tram network.
A spokesperson for HS2 said: ’The new net zero carbon in operation station design will maximise the benefit of natural resources such as sunlight and water and have new public spaces surrounding it. The designs will also incorporate the existing historic Old Curzon Street building and link it to the new station’s eastern concourse at New Canal Street.
’The designs also improve access to different modes of transport. The Midland Metro runs alongside and underneath the station, while pedestrian routes lead to local bus services, Sprint rapid transit bus services and other train services. The design also provides space for more than 250 bicycles.’
Meanwhile the proposals for the Interchange will be go on display before a separate submission to Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council.
Speaking about the scheme, Kim Quazi, Arup’s lead architect, said: ’The design of HS2 Interchange Station has been influenced by its unique rural setting on the edge of a built-up, urban area and its glass façade will offer expansive views over the surrounding landscape.
’The striking roof design will maximise the use of natural daylight to create a light, bright and airy interior that is easy to navigate even during the busiest of periods.’
REVISED IMAGES - JANUARY 2020: Reworked proposals of Arup’s Solihull Interchange
At the weekend an unpublished government report seen by the Financial Times claimed that the cost of building the high-speed rail link could cost up to £106 billion – almost double what HS2 estimated the budget would be in 2015 (£56 billion).
The Oakervee review, the newspaper claimed, also recommends pausing the second phase of the project while experts look at whether conventional lines could help link Birmingham to Manchester and Leeds instead.
The government’s response to the review and a decision about the future of the rail project – which has already cost the taxpayer £8 billion – had been promised before the end of last year.