Our team have undertaken a study to present a vision for the future of Clapham Junction, examining how an integrated approach to development can offer significant benefits to both the station and the wider Battersea area.
In March 2018 the Department for Transport published its guidance on future Market Led Proposals, with a request to the industry for increased engagement in future infrastructure projects. In response to this, Mott MacDonald established the London Stations Initiative to increase investment in infrastructure through cross section engagement.
As a case study for the London Station Initiative, Mott MacDonald, Hawkins\Brown and Laing O’Rourke have undertaken a study to explore the station and development masterplan options for Clapham Junction Station. The study includes a vision for the future of rail at Clapham Junction and proposals for how an integrated approach to development can offer significant benefits to Battersea as a whole.
The challenge & the opportunity
Clapham Junction is the busiest interchange in London with connectivity to central, regional and international transport hubs. Together with the arrival of Crossrail 2 the station has unique potential for transformational regeneration that can respond to the need of the growing community and changing live/work patterns.
Clapham Junction is also one of the most congested stations in London. An upgrade is needed to meet the growing commuter demands, reduce train dwell time and improve passenger experience. However, building a new station around an existing station is hugely complex and expensive, so when major upgrades are required it represents a once in a lifetime opportunity.
As our cities become more polycentric, transport hubs are emerging as centres of vibrant mixed-use development that contribute to the sustainable growth of cities. By becoming more efficient with how we use this land we can connect communities currently separated by infrastructure, create new connections and unlock development sites to drive new revenue streams. Transport governing bodies increasingly recognise these and are turning to their land to generate revenue and new sources of income.
This opportunity is particularly evident at Clapham Junction where there is genuine need to re-connect the social divide between the local communities north and south of the railway while contributing towards London’s growing housing and economic infrastructure needs.
More than just a station
Clapham Junction has the potential to become a blueprint for a compact, mixed-use interchange hub that is more of an extension of high street and public realm and less of a gate line defined station concourse.
The unique pattern of customer flow at transport hubs coupled with integrated development offers the opportunity for a particularly varied mix of uses within a concentrated area. The well-established provision of cafes, restaurants and retail are now being joined by other uses suited to transport hub locations, such as co-work spaces which can also provide a touch-down for travelling business people and include shared facilities and rentable meeting rooms next to grade A commercial space. Coupled with the drive for density around transport hubs and potential for new homes it can transform Clapham Junction into a Major Town Centre.
Understanding the issues surrounding delivery
Delivery of a ‘once in a lifetime’ upgrade to a major transport hub is a complex and challenging proposition. However, the goal is to deliver intervention on this scale without causing major disruption on several fronts.
One of the key enablers to achieving a fast and efficient delivery of this project is the use of offsite manufacturing. This enables structural components, MEP modules, architectural cladding or full volumetric solutions to be manufactured offsite, delivered to the work front on a just in time basis for installation. This provides significant programme benefits, reduces labour and associated resources on site, whilst improving the quality of the delivered asset. Within the rail environment off-site manufacturing also provides significant health and safety benefits, by reducing onsite labour and time spent working adjacent to the operational rail environment.
Whilst it is important to recognise the benefits of offsite manufactured solutions, it is also important to understand that these benefits are only realised if the delivery methodology is considered from the outset. As such this case study has adopted a Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA) approach, considering the opportunities that offsite construction offers from the beginning, and allowing this approach to influence the design.
During the phased delivery of the station it is vital that the surrounding community begin to see benefits and improvements at the earliest opportunity. Improving this “meanwhile position” has been a key driver as part of this study. Opportunities have been identified to provide temporary retail units to replace existing amenities, to implement traffic reduction measures as part of the early work phases, and to increase bicycle parking available at the station, encouraging active means of travel to and from the station.
Looking to the future
The findings of our case study, whilst framed around Clapham Junction, are applicable to the delivery of infrastructure upgrade and associated regeneration opportunities across our transport network. The aim of our work is to encourage in depth debate with other industry experts and stakeholders on how to translate enthusiasm for oversite development into deliverable plans.