Tottenham Court Road Over Site Development\

Unlocking a complex site to make a place to live

Apartments and retail space tessellate with our new ticket hall for Tottenham Court Road Station, creating valuable development for Crossrail.

As part of the wider Tottenham Court Road Crossrail station project, we were appointed to prepare proposals for and deliver the over site development (OSD) above the Western Ticket Hall as well as integrate the associated smoke and ventilation shaft.

The site comprises two city blocks bound by Dean Street to the east and Oxford Street to the north. In total the OSD comprises 92 residential apartments with the station entrance and retail spaces integrated at ground floor level.


new homes
in total

The challenge

A key challenge was to secure planning consent for a residential led over site development in this location. Proposals were developed in close consultation with Westminster City Council, GLA, Historic England, CABE and TfL, to respond sensitively to the historic context of Soho and the eclectic commercial context of Oxford Street. Public consultation in the form of a walk in exhibition was held near the site, for which a model and presentation boards were prepared. An analysis of the urban context concluded that despite their proximity the two blocks should be of distinctively different architectural characters.

The big idea

The development is divided into two buildings. The Oxford Street block is larger in scale and the materiality reflects 'retail-centric' character onto which it fronts. The Dean Street block responds to the Soho aesthetic, with traditional brick and concrete cladding split into 3 distinctive blocks to reflect the historic Georgian townhouse typology synonymous with the Soho context.

The design required the consideration of interlocking programmes of the over site development and station, which were designed to maximise active frontages for the proposed retail spaces while making the station entrance clearly legible and ensuring that residential entrances have strong identities.

The proposals also considered the reconfiguration and redesign of the public realm that served the station and the wider environs.

The small detail

Elements of the two buildings retain a memory of the buildings that were taken down to make way for the new railway. Ornamented panels in the Oxford Street block are based on the etched glass windows of the Bath House pub that once stood on the corner of Fareham Street, while tobacco-coloured glazed bricks form the retail plinth of the smaller building continue the memory of Victorian pub architecture. References are also taken from further afield; the polished black concrete façade of the main building is a reference to the art deco glamour of the Marks & Spencer Pantheon building further along Oxford Street.

As part of Crossrail 1 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. Tottenham Court Road is a significant interface for the new Crossrail line and London Underground network; in addition to the new Crossrail station and over site development, we also recently completed an upgrade to the existing Underground station.

Read the Crossrail Case Study

  • Project Details
  • Innovation
  • Sustainability

Project Summary

Project Team

Pre-planning -
Structural Engineer: Arup, Atkins
Services Engineer: Arup
Planning Consultant: GVA
Property Consultant: Savills, Cushman & Wakefield
Post-planning -
Contractor: Laing O'Rourke
Ramboll UK


The interfaces and technical constraints are complex, and the construction of the OSD must not compromise the operation of the railway. The use of Building Information Modelling (BIM) has been key within the detailed design of the project to understand the complex interfaces with the ticket hall and coordinate the design with the station team and specialist sub-contractors appointed by Laing O'Rourke, who are the main contractor for the over-station development works.

Building the OSD without disruption to the station has been a key constraint on the design. Predominately modern methods of construction will be used to erect the structure and install the facades to minimise impact on station access and reduce the construction programme to the shortest time possible.

Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA) techniques and considered consturction programming are being utilised to ensure that the building can be built 'scaffold-free' with minimal disruption to the operations of the Western Ticket Hall.


Both buildings have been designed to comply with Code for Sustainable homes level 4, stipulated by Crossrail to meet higher energy performance criteria and set the bar for the level of quality the client is committed to deliver. Off-site manufacturing also contributes to the reduction in carbon profile.

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