This was a complex project with multiple challenges and stakeholders. First, there was the context – a Grade I listed building with lots of redundant features that would need to be repurposed. Then we needed to consider the users: thousands of people and vehicles pass through the station every day and all of them need to use the space safely and harmoniously. With a large proportion of international visitors via the Heathrow Express, clear wayfinding and orientation was also key.
Our team addressed each of these challenges to deliver a world-class, integrated solution. Although some of the old, unused features of the building were removed, many were creatively incorporated into the design. An Edwardian deck, for example, was used to support the new taxi facility.
In order to create a space that worked for both people and vehicles, we liaised closely with the taxi operator to produce an effective
circulation layout, with plenty of space for both queuing taxis and passengers. We also safely separated people from vehicles by introducing a pedestrian path beneath the highway.
We made sure every visitor to the station could easily orientate themselves by introducing a ‘pedestrian spine’, running the full length of the space, stitching the disparate parts of the station together and helping people (with their luggage) to navigate quickly and easily.
The design for PIP is the first phase of Crossrail's impact on Paddington Station. The solution is simple and effective and provides users with improved access and a high quality passenger environment. PIP combined with the main Crossrail Station works currently under construction along Eastbourne Terrace has sought to, and Crossrail believes will deliver, a high quality integrated intervention and addition to Paddington Station with reference within its contemporary design to the heritage of one of the world’s historic railway stations.
To ensure every stakeholder was included, we consulted with them from the outset and collated all their requirements into a single cohesive scheme that could be built together. This reduced costs and disruption, and ensured that the aesthetic was consistent, suitable and sensitive for the Grade I listed building.
Finally, we worked closely with the station masterplan to allow for growth, so the area can adapt and grow over time with minimal disruption.
RIBA London Regional Award