Tottenham Court Road Station Upgrade\

Providing a world-class interchange

Tottenham Court Road is one of the busiest Underground stations in London with over 100,000 passengers a day using it as the 'gateway to the West End'. We have upgraded the station, fit for the 21st century.

The challenge

Tottenham Court Road is a sensitive urban node interfacing with the grade II listed Centre Point tower, two London boroughs, and the imminently opening Crossrail. Keeping the station operational whilst modernising the intricate existing tunnels and cross passages required a lot of thought by the design team.

1900 – The year that the Central London Railway (now the Central Line) arrived at Tottenham Court Road.

The big idea

During its lifetime since it first opened at the beginning of the 20th century, Tottenham Court Road Station has undergone various improvements on an ad-hoc basis. The concept for the station was to ensure that once Crosssrail has opened, the station functions as one transport interchange, providing efficient connectivity between the different underground lines, with accessibility for all.

The small detail

The design team and client have gone to great lengths to preserve the Paolozzi mosaics throughout the station. In total over 95% of the mosaics have been retained in their current place or with a mixture of new and original tiles, and this is evident when stood on either the Northern or Central Line platforms, both of which maintain their original identity.

An artist's perspective

Following in the tradition of the Paolozzi mosaics which adorn parts of the station, a permanent art installation was designed by French artist Daniel Buren, using his signature 87mm wide stripes, alternating in black and white. The new artwork is located in the unpaid area of the station, offering a gentle means of way-finding, indicating the Oxford Street Entrance with black and white shapes, and the Plaza entrances to the foot of the iconic Centre Point tower with colourful shapes.

The bigger picture

The urban realm is part of the larger ‘St Giles Circus’ scheme which stretches from Tottenham Court Road Station to Soho and Covent Garden beyond. With the arrival of Crossrail, the new public plazas at the foot of Centre Point tower will establish a new gathering space to accommodate the anticipated 200,000 daily pedestrian movements.

These works and the station upgrade are part of a £1 billion redevelopment and makeover of the area.

2063 – The year that the time capsule celebrating London Underground’s 150th anniversary, sealed in Tottenham Court Road station in 2014, will be opened!

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 and Underground stations, we are also designing an over site development.

Read the TCR Station Upgrade Case Study

“We have been involved on the project for over 20 years. Our understanding of this complex site and brief has led to further work, including the Crossrail Western Ticket Hall and the OSD residential development at Dean Street, Crossrail platforms and Eastern Ticket Hall connection to TCRSU.”

Harbinder Birdi Partner, Head of Infrastructure & Transport

  • Project Details
  • Collaboration

Project Summary

Project Team

Contractor: Taylor Woodrow, BAM Nuttall
Engineer: CH2M Hill
Architect: Hawkins\Brown, Acanthus LW


  • National Rail Awards 2017 - Major Project of the Year - Winner
  • British Construction Industry Awards 2017 - Major Civil Engineering Project of the Year (over £50m) - Winner
  • RICS Awards 2016 - Infrastructure - Highly commended
  • AJ100 Awards 2016 - Architectural Collaboration of the Year - Shortlisted
  • BD Architect of the Year Awards 2016 - Infrastructure - Winner
  • British Construction Industry Awards 2016 - Major Civil Engineering Project of the Year (over £50m) - Shortlisted


Collaboration and communication is key on a project of this scale, involving consultants of varying disciplines and from various construction contracts, from the urban realm design, Crossrail, and development of the over site developments teams working above the station. Collaborative working is also a key ethos of the NEC3 suite of contracts used on this project.

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