Tottenham Court Road (Elizabeth line)
We collaborated with a 100-strong multi-disciplinary team of infrastructure experts on a 10-year journey, from ambitious brief to beautifully functioning reality.
For years, passengers had been fighting their way through the cramped ticket hall and jostling for space on the escalators. The expanded ticket hall is six times larger and there are vibrant new entrances to all sides of St Giles Circus, more escalators and wider passageways and platforms, making for a much more comfortable and enjoyable experience. Outside, there are attractive and buzzing new public plazas at the foot of the iconic Centre Point, where people gather, ready for a night out or a shopping spree on Oxford Street.
Tottenham Court Road is a fantastic example of collaboration and integration – a station complex straddling two London boroughs – Camden and Westminster – and receiving the blessing of both for a generous new ticket hall to provide the plinth for a prime residential and commercial development to rise above.
The station showcases the amazing possibilities of DfMA. Internally the station is clad with glass fibre reinforced concrete (GRFC) panels designed in standard modules, manufactured in specialist factories, transported to site and installed in the platform environment. We made 30% savings in programming by prefabricating offsite the smoke and ventilation shafts from the station (incorporated into the oversite development).
At St Giles, the underground ticket hall links to the eastern entrance of the Elizabeth line with Daniel Buren’s bold shapes reflecting the mid-century aesthetic of Centre Point. The eastern escalator boxes have ceilings richly decorated in gold leaf by Turner Prize winner Richard Wright, contrasting with the surrounding austere concrete surfaces.
The western ticket hall at Dean Street, however, is dark, cinematic and redolent of Soho itself. Exquisite Corpse by another Turner Prize winner Douglas Gordon is a series of screens displaying images that evoke the history, culture and character of the area.