The contest sought architects, engineers and designers from across the world to ‘reimagine’ how small (and medium-sized) stations could be better for passengers.
The competition, run by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) on behalf of Network Rail, attracted more than 200 entries from designers based in 34 different countries.
7N’s winning entry considers the needs of both passengers and their local communities. Its modular station design can be integrated into a variety of locations that complement the local landscape. The station frontage includes a clock tower, as a local landmark and natural meeting place. Beyond the station entrance, sweeping platform canopies provide shelter for passengers.
Panel members thought the winning concept had been “cleverly pared back to create an open and flexible system” that, with minimum component parts, would improve passengers’ experience of the station while aligning with Network Rail’s aspirations to be carbon neutral by 2050. The design incorporates the capacity to generate renewable energy to provide most of the stations’ power by using translucent photovoltaic panels that provide shelter.
7N Architects will now work with Network Rail project representatives to develop the design into a formal proposal that addresses a prescribed set of technical requirements, including consideration of construction methodology.
Network Rail head of buildings and architecture Anthony Dewar said: “This competition offered a unique opportunity to reimagine what a railway station can be in the 21st century, creating an environment that better serves the passengers and communities who rely on the British railway network and leave a lasting legacy on station design. I would like to congratulate 7N Architects on their winning entry and I look forward to seeing how they will bring their design to life.”
One of the judges was Lucy Musgrave, founding director of Publica. She said: “This competition has clearly set out the importance of holistic and integral design quality when it comes to creating successful infrastructure. Network Rail’s leadership has encouraged all involved to consider how society is changing and how we can address the climate emergency and the evolving civic role of our infrastructure. 7N’s winning proposal showed a confident expression and understanding of the opportunity to celebrate our local identities, the specificity and integration with our urban and rural landscapes, and the strength of our national identity through our railway infrastructure.”