Crossrail may not be ready to open its doors to commuters till 2018, but relevant construction works under- and overground in and around central London have been reaching fever pitch. And as the new train line is set to be able to carry a staggering estimated 200 million passengers a year, Crossrail users will be needing a series of high-quality designed stations to match.
Some of them are partially already there – the upper, retail elements and roof terrace on the Canary Wharf stop, for example, have been open for a few months now – making this station already 90 per cent complete. However more developments are currently ongoing, designed by leading London architects such as Weston Williamson and Wilkinson Eyre.
The concept behind the stations’ architecture revolves around seven principles; identity, clarity, consistency, inclusivity, sustainability, security and a people-focused approach. There are two station types at work; mined underground and box-shaped underground stations, and above ground surface stations. Each one is created with its own identity and design character, aiming to reflect its unique urban context and the heritage of the local area it serves.
The effort includes ten brand new stations and a further 30 existing ones, which will be upgraded to meet Crossrail’s requirements. They will all serve the brand new Elizabeth Line – as this new railway line will be known - trains, which are designed by Barber and Osgerby and Bombardier.
A new exhibition at the RIBA headquarters in London is now open, offering valuable insight into the way the stations are designed. From facts, figures and images, to real life prototypes of materials and furniture to be used in the project, there's plenty of material available to help catch a glimpse of the Crossrail experience – the project currently claiming the spot for Europe’s largest infrastructure scheme.