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Euston vent shaft

Location: London, UK
Services: Concept Design

Our elegant contemporary substation and vent shaft at Euston is the first major structure to be built as part of the transformation of the station ahead of the arrival of high-speed rail services in 2026. The imaginative cladding design has been developed for HS2 to respond to the technical requirements of the shaft and its position in an existing and part emerging townscape. The use of faience tiles aims to bring a human scale, reflect light and allow the shaft to breathe.

Challenge

The building will contain a substation for London Underground and UK Power Networks as well as a vent shaft for the Northern line. It replaces an existing vent shaft which needs to be demolished to make way for six new platforms and a new concourse at Euston station.


It will be situated on Stephenson Way, a small street behind the Euston Road, on the site of Wolfson House, a former University College London building which is also being demolished. Tunnels will link it to the Northern line below.

The new vent shaft will be one of the first things we build and it’s important we get it right. I hope this intriguing, functional and contemporary design will be welcomed by all those who live, work and travel through Euston.

Rob Carr, HS2 London Programme Director

Solution

Designed in association with William Matthews Associates, the four storey high cube is clad with more than 13,000 glazed faience tiles similar to those used on many historic London Underground stations including South Kensington, Covent Garden and nearby Great Portland Street. Faience, a type of glazed terracotta, is robust, durable and low maintenance making it ideal for cladding functional buildings.


The tiles will help reflect light into the surrounding streets, echoing the traditional practice of cladding the back of tall buildings with glazed tiles to bring light into courtyards and confined spaces.

A pattern of perforations on the tiles allow the structure to breath with air moving in and out of the building and add texture and interest to the façade during both the day and night.

Related Projects

How can we help?

Please get in touch if you’d like to know more about us and how we work with our clients, consultants and colleagues.