Crossrail 1 Elizabeth Line\

Moving over half a million people around the capital each day

Tottenham Court Road, Bond Street and Liverpool Street station are three out of seven central London stations for Crossrail, a £15bn new high frequency railway for the south east of England - Europe’s largest construction project.

Increasing Capacity

To accommodate the predicted growth in London’s population the city needs major investment to upgrade and expand its current transport infrastructure. The proposals for the Tottenham Court Road station upgrade at St Giles, Camden for example, are to increase the passenger capacity from 100,000 to an anticipated 200,000 in 2018, and to increase the ticket hall to six times the size of the original station. All, whilst keeping the station operational for passengers.


Crossrail passengers
on the move every day

Making a Mark in the City

We are working in collaboration with Arup/ Atkins, to develop the design for Tottenham Court Road Crossrail station in Soho, Westminster. The new station and ticket hall delivers passengers to 250m long platforms, 30m below the pavement, integrated into the existing London Underground transport network, all within a historically sensitive context.

The different station entrances that make up the Tottenham Court Road interchange are designed to accentuate the diversity in character between the different locations. The east entrance in St Giles is bright and well lit to reflect the 1960s iconography of the landmark structure, Centre Point. The west entrance in Soho is dark and cinematic, reflecting the nocturnal economies that characterise the area.

In 2013 we were also appointed to design both Liverpool Street and Bond Street Crossrail stations, and it has been interesting developing a unique visual identity for these stations enabling passengers to navigate the transport hub more comfortably and instinctively.

To negate the need for suspended ceilings, which get damaged during services maintenance, we’re currently developing light fittings for the ticket hall that both give out light to, and absorb noise from the station.

Crossrail Tunnelling: Drone's eye view of Crossrail's completed rail tunnels

Bigger on the Inside

The interior design of the stations plays a fundamental role in enhancing the user experience for passengers and station staff. A varied colour palette aids way finding, and the effective movement of passengers through the station during peak times.

Underground Overground

Crossrail is the first major transport project to integrate public realm and station design. On Dean Street, the highway will be pedestrianised, and at St Giles a new traffic-free area around the station will improve the experience for the 200,000 people using the station daily.

Art on the Underground

Building on the legacy of Eduardo Paolozzi’s pop art mosaics at Tottenham Court Road station, we have collaborated with Daniel Buren, one of the worlds most influential minimalist artists, to create an artwork for the new ticket hall interior, designed to bring passengers ‘joy’ on their daily commute. We are also collaborating with with the Crossrail Art Programme, supporting the delivery of site-specific artworks by Turner Prize-winning artists Richard Wright and Douglas Gordon at the new Elizabeth line station at Tottenham Court Road. These include an intricate geometric pattern painted in gold leaf on the concrete ceiling above the station’s eastern escalator and a digital art installation in the western ticket hall reflecting the history of Soho.

As part of Crossrail 1 the Elizabeth Line, Europe’s largest infrastructure project, Hawkins\Brown are currently delivering three new Crossrail stations at Tottenham Court Road, Bond Street and Liverpool Street, all due for completion in 2021. Tottenham Court Road is a significant interface for the new Crossrail line and London Underground network; in addition to the new Crossrail station here, we recently completed an upgrade to the Underground station and we are also designing a new build over station development.

Read the Crossrail Case Study

  • Project Details
  • Crossrail Design Line
  • Lessons learnt
  • Materials
  • Collaboration

Project Summary

Project Team

Tottenham Court Road Station Upgrade, LUL
Contractor: Vinci and Bam
Engineer: CH2Mhill

Tottenham Court Road Station, Crossrail
Contractor: Laing O’Rourke
Engineer: Arup, Atkins (design) WSP (construction)

Bond Street Station, Crossrail
Contractor: Costain and Skanska
Engineer: WSP (design) Arup (construction)

Liverpool Street Station, Crossrail
Contractor: Laing O’Rourke
Engineer: Mott Macdonald (design) Arup (construction)


  • BD Architect of the Year Awards 2016 - Infrastructure - Winner

Crossrail Design Line

Take a closer look at some of the Crossrail stations such as Tottenham Court Road and Liverpool Street.

Lessons learnt

Since first developing the proposals for the Tottenham Court Road station, over 21 years ago, we have learned that successfully integrating high quality infrastructures into the communities they are designed to serve can only be achieved through careful collaboration. The ability to listen and ask questions of all the stakeholders, and to work in a proactive and collaborative relationship with both the client and consultants is critical to a project’s success. We have continually debated, through forums in the UK and abroad, the challenges we have faced designing a major infrastructure project, with stakeholders, rail operators, consultants and academics, and have furthered this learning through working in multi-disciplinary teams.

We were invited as a panellist on the RIBA talk ‘Digital Thinking, Smart Building’, along with Laing O'Rourke, to share how we developed the designs for Tottenham Court Road station through the utilisation of BIM, and in the 2014 RIBA talk on ‘Future Leaders’ we were selected, along with Crossrail, to debate the changing role of the architect when working on major infrastructure projects.


The stations were designed to endure many decades of use with minimal maintenance. The civil design, tunnels and station boxes are designed for a life span of at least 120 years, whilst the internal fabric of the stations are designed to last at least 60 years. For the first time within a major underground project, we are using glass-fibre reinforced-concrete to clad the 250m long platform tunnels and passageways, an ideal material to express the curved geometries of the civil engineering design.


Through from the design concept to construction this has been a highly collaborative project. Working closely with the multi-disciplinary engineering design teams we have pioneered the use of BIM 3D software to coordinate the design process and help the contractor to develop the best possible construction methodology and station asset maintenance.

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