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Sat September 25 2021

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HS2 reveals station designs

9 Oct 18 HS2 has released images of two new stations that are planned for the West Midlands.

The planned Curzon Street station
The planned Curzon Street station

Curzon Street station in central Birmingham will be the first new intercity station built in Britain since 19th century. It is scheduled to open in 2026 with seven high speed platforms.

An interchange station in Solihull is also planned, to serve Birmingham Airport and the NEC National Exhibition Centre.

WSP UK, working with Grimshaw Architects, is designing Curzon Street; Arup is designing Solihull Interchange station.

The designs remain subject to local authority approval under Schedule 17 of the High Speed Rail Act. The images have been released as part of the public consultation process.

The images show that the designers have restrained themselves – Curzon Street has echoes of Nicholas Grimshaw’s own acclaimed Waterloo International structure. The Solihull Interchange has a certain elephantine appearance but there is nothing as radical here as Santiago Calatrava’s Lyon-Saint Exupéry station.

Curzon Street

The new Curzon Street Station will be sited next to the original Curzon Street station building and will be the Birmingham terminus for HS2.

Carol Stitchman, WSP design manager on Curzon Street said: “Our design recognises the station's function as a place of arrival and connection. It is the only HS2 station that welcomes you with a view of the city, where you can see the city from the train, and the train from the city.” 

Neven Sidor, Grimshaws’ lead architect for Curzon Street station, said: “HS2’s new Curzon Street station is inspired by the best station design of the past, inspired by Britain’s pioneering railway and industrial heritage reimagined for the 21st century. The elegant sleek low arch which will make the station instantly recognisable in the surrounding area and its warm coffered soffit will join the growing list of modern Birmingham icons. The West concourse will have the ambiance of a modern airport terminal with both platform and waiting areas included in the grand arched space. The East concourse has been designed to include the historic Curzon Station building as part of a revitalised New Canal Street scene.”

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Solihull Interchange

This site is located within a triangle of land known as Arden Cross which is formed by the M42, A45 and A452, near the existing Birmingham International Station.

Kim Quazi, Arup’s lead architect for Solihull Interchange, said: “Interchange station sits within a unique setting, on the edge of the urban landscape in a currently rural location. The station building has been designed to reflect its surroundings and in context with the natural landscape and topography.

“The station roof has been designed to fit in with the surrounding landscape, and to optimise natural daylight using an integrated, efficient structural form and rainwater management system. We have also focused on a number of objectives including creating a positive experience for future users and rail passengers by including open space, parkland and views to green spaces, and constructing a green building with low energy consumption and low maintenance.”

HS2 chief executive Mark Thurston said: “Both of these new stations will be transformational for the Midlands and will create opportunities for regeneration, growth and economic benefits for the city and region. Preparatory work for the stations is well under way, with a variety of enabling works including the construction of access roads and archaeological investigations.”

Transport minister Nusrat Ghani said: “Unveiling the station designs for Curzon Street and the Solihull Interchange is a milestone moment. These stations will be catalysts for local jobs and new homes, as well as giving passengers access to thousands more seats, more services and better journeys. 

“We also want HS2 to set a new benchmark for truly inclusive travel, creating a railway that works for everyone. The task for our designers and engineers is now to take these ideas from the drawing board to reality, building iconic stations that are accessible, safe and open to all, no matter their needs.”

West Midlands mayor Andy Street said: “These brand new stations will be catalysts for regeneration, creating jobs and opportunities for local people and economic benefits for Birmingham and the Midlands. Curzon Street station will put Birmingham at the heart of Britain’s new high speed network and enhance the rail connectivity for the city, whilst Interchange provides a once in a life time opportunity to help drive the growth of the region.”

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