Integrating old + new
Brunel located Paddington station within a cutting, one level below ground and adjoining fixed boundaries of residential streets and the Grand Union Canal. Its position made the introduction of the new Elizabeth Line station complicated and challenging but also presented the opportunity to resolve historic problems around connectivity with the site.
Key to delivering a successful station design was the integration of the new building into the existing Grade I listed structure. The relationship between the old and the new needed to be sensitively handled. Energy efficiency and sustainable design is a key requirement across the whole scheme.
I think the station has turned in to the jewel in the Crossrail crown; the challenge for next year is to maintain this – I would like to think you will be there to ensure this!
A world class station experience
The station entrance is positioned directly above the station box and is central to an expansive new area of public realm which has been made possible by relocating the taxi rank to a new position north of the station. The refurbished public realm extends the length of Eastbourne Terrace and sensitively incorporates station infrastructure such as ventilation head houses.
Mindful of the station’s heritage, we replaced the original station canopy, which was badly damaged in the war, with a new one of the same length but elevated one storey. This increases the scale of the volume below the canopy to echo the existing train sheds, extending the station and providing a recognisable civic presence. The canopy height has been carefully aligned with the heights of the surrounding buildings although it is a physically independent structure.
Views into and out of the neighbouring Bayswater Conservation Area are important. From the street level the canopy appears at 1 ½ storeys and incorporates the level differences between Eastbourne Terrace and Departures Road, creating a much larger volume around the station entrance.
Our final station configuration provides a clear and legible environment for passengers with sky views from the platforms through the glazed canopy. The canopy incorporates a large scale cloud artwork by Spencer Finch, which changes according to the light, the sun’s position and the time of day.
By integrating servicing and reinstating intermodal facilities on top of the box, the project makes maximum use of the available land. The large voids bring daylight deep into the station to reduce the need for artificial light and to allow natural ventilation to form part of the station environmental strategy.
WAN Urban Design Award Shortlisted