At a meeting in November, the panel applauded the progress made since Hybrid Bill stage, and the attention paid to resolving the challenges presented in this location. In particular, the emerging narrative and rationale for the proposals is both robust and compelling.
The panel also supported the extension to the viaduct to resolve challenges in relation to access and flooding, and encouraged the team to continue refining the structure whilst ensuring the elegance and simplicity of its design is retained. This should include further consideration of aspects such as the noise barriers and abutments.
A significant focus of the design work has been on integration with the wider landscape, including the creation of new access routes and planting in the surrounding landscape. The panel suggested consideration is also given to any opportunities to strengthen the existing landscape, for example in framing views of the viaduct. These aspects are hugely important to the success of the proposals and work should continue to ensure they are refined and confirmed, including work to put any necessary third party agreements in place.
Marwa is an experienced architect within the UK infrastructure sector, working on projects such as Heathrow Expansion and Euston Station. She started working on HS2 in 2017, and now leads a team of designers at Weston Williamson + Partners delivering projects within Phase One and common design elements.
“For Balsall Common Viaduct, a considerable amount of effort has been on enhancing human experiences and integrating the viaduct within the historic landscape - maximising visual permeability, connectivity, and the innovative use of materials.
The Design Panel has been incredibly helpful, providing a platform for multi-disciplinary discussions on aspects such as design quality, sustainability, and celebrating the context. We have also been able to take that experience and apply it to other parts of our work on HS2”.
The Design Joint Venture working for Balfour Beatty VINCI JV (BBV) on these proposals consists of global consultancies Mott MacDonald and Systra together with architects Weston Williamson + Partners.
Reproduced from: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1040199/HS2-IDP-Newsletter-October_and_November_2021.pdf