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West Midlands mayor tears into Grimshaw and Arup’s HS2 station designs

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West Midlands mayor Andy Street has torn into the proposed designs of HS2 (High Speed 2)  stations by Grimshaw and Arup

Writing in The Times, Street said the plans for the Solihull Interchange and Birmingham’s Curzon Street stations had all ‘all the quirkiness and charm of Stansted airport’s baggage drop-off area’ and should be looked at again.

And he said the £56 billion mega-project could ‘save billions’ by using private investment to turn stations into ‘hives of offices, shops, restaurants and apartments’.

The high-speed rail line is currently undergoing an independent review led by Doug Oakervee, with the government set to make a final ‘go or no-go’ decision after the general election in December. But a draft of the Oakervee report, leaked last week, recommends going ahead with minimal changes.

Steet, however, argues there is still time to alter elements of the scheme. ‘Let’s take the opportunity to revisit some of the most exciting visionary parts of the project,’ he said.

The elected mayor’s broadside comes after the MP for Birmingham Hodge Hill, Liam Byrne, described Grimshaw’s design for Curzon Street as ‘not good enough’ earlier this year.

Byrne, an HS2 supporter, said he favoured ‘sending the designs back to the drawing board’.

Grimshaw and Arup are currently reworking their designs for Curzon Street and the Interchange respectively, based on feedback they have received.

Developed designs will be unveiled early next year if the government decides to continue with HS2.

HS2 declined to respond to Street’s comments. Grimshaw and Arup have not responded to a request for comment.

Arup's designs for Interchange station in Solihull

Arup’s designs for Interchange station in Solihull

Arup’s designs for Interchange station in Solihull

  • 1 Comment

Readers' comments (1)

  • Industry Professional

    Architecture is always going to split opinions.
    However, to my eye, the designs do not look too bad to me. The Solihull Interchange seems quite neat and reserved on the inside.
    I would argue that while St Pancras and, to a lesser extent, the new London Bridge are striking and full of retail facilities, they are, in my humble opinion, less successful at fulfilling their primary function of getting people to and from trains quickly. Jeffrey (Engineer)

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