The first panes of glass have been installed in the showpiece canopy at Paddington’s new Elizabeth line station. The 120 metre length structure designed by WW+P appears to float above the platforms 25 metres below ground. The steel grid holds 220 bespoke glass panels, each one weighing over a tonne.
A Cloud Index, designed by world renowned artist Spencer Finch is a cloudscape that has been printed onto the glazed roof panels. Selected by the Crossrail Art Foundation in collaboration with an advisory round table panel including WW+P, the unique collage of clouds will appear to change according to the light, weather and the time of day. Visitors will also see the artwork differently depending on which way they enter, leave or move through the station.
The canopy replaces the original one which was badly damaged in World War II; it is the same length but elevated one storey and has been carefully aligned with the surrounding building heights. The raised height increases the volume below the canopy to echo the existing train sheds, extending the station and providing a recognisable civic presence.
A Cloud Index is the first of several major works of public art that are being integrated into the new Elizabeth line stations as part of the Crossrail Art Programme. All 220 glass panels will be installed by the spring, ready for the commencement of services on the central London section of the Elizabeth line from December 2018.
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