Grimshaw’s design proposals for Birmingham’s new HS2 Curzon Street station were approved by Birmingham City Council today, becoming the first HS2 Phase One station to achieve consented status. This key project milestone represents 24 months of close collaboration with HS2, the city of Birmingham and other key stakeholders. Curzon Street station will form an integral part of a major new transport interchange, bringing together HS2, Moor Street Station, West Midlands Metro tram and new bus facilities.
The project will extend the reach of Birmingham city centre eastwards by half a kilometre and help to drive regeneration in the Digbeth area of the city. Two major new public spaces
and two station concourses will be created as part of the project, together with new pedestrian and cycle links. Philip Hardwick’s Grade I Listed 1838 London to Birmingham railway terminus building will also be brought back to life as part of the proposals.
Grimshaw Partner Neven Sidor describes the design as “reflecting West Midlands’ industrial heritage through 21st century means, conveying humanity to its public spaces through a
finely modulated arched structural frame spanning 70m interspersed with warm soffit”.
Sustainability and carbon neutral objectives have guided design thinking. The roof structure is highly efficient with tie forces carried through the concourse floor. Natural light penetrates both public and back of house areas and surrounding landscape utilising porous surfaces or ‘rain gardens’. Photovoltaic panels offset energy demands.
Inclusive design is also at the heart of the proposals, with a clearly laid out progression of intuitive spaces, open and accessible information ’hubs’, quiet zones, children’s play areas
and generously sized washroom facilities.
Grimshaw’s contribution to HS2’s Station Common Design Elements programme is also embedded in the scheme, which aims to achieve a consistent identity for repeated components across the national HS2 network. An example of design innovation is a new multi-function ‘totem’ which clusters lighting, CCTV, customer information, wifi and public address speakers in one unit, allowing safe and easy maintenance at low-level.
The Lead Consultant and project engineer is WSP, landscaping by Grant Associates, retail consultancy by Leslie Jones and lighting strategy by Speirs & Major.
Chris Hayter, Project Director at WSP, the engineering professional services consultancy, said: “Curzon Street station’s design encourages commuters and communities to see it as much as a destination and place to meet as a functioning rail station. As lead consultant, WSP’s 160-strong project team is delighted to finally see this ambition realised after two years of collaborative work with HS2 and our partners. The decision to approve the station’s design is a significant moment in Birmingham’s ongoing transformation as a modern and vibrant city and in delivering this transformative project, the Midlands will better connect its towns and cities and use infrastructure investment to boost the Midlands Engine.”