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46 PROJECT REPORT: TRANSPORT FACILITIES & PUBLIC REALM


24 metres wide, and 21 metres deep, positioned parallel to and in between the adjacent Macmillan House and Eastbourne Terrace.


A 90 metre-long gap in the station’s roof


slab, spanned by the canopy, houses two banks of escalators at either end and a pair of glass lifts in the centre. “Normally in these stations, lifts are tucked away round the back, which makes this slightly unusual,” remarks Naybour. Both escalators and elevators descend approximately 11 metres to the station concourse. With nothing but four horizontal supporting props bracing the diaphragm walls and the glass canopy 20 metres overhead, the concourse is open and airy, providing a strong sense of arrival both to pedestrians ascending from platform level and to those descending to catch their train. Four further banks of escalators (as well as the lifts) descend the remaining 10 metres to the platform level.


Five vertical elliptical columns topped with widening capitals are staggered at 18.33 metre intervals across the station’s length, bearing the combined load of the concourse slab, roof slab, and the canopy. The architects worked hard to spread these columns as far apart as possible to maximise openness.


EXPLODED


Axonometric drawing showing the entire scheme – the original roof at the centre, the rectangular canopy for Crossrail to the left, and the canopy for the Paddington Integrated element at top


began some 12 years ago, upgrading links to the Hammersmith & City Line for TfL. The project’s scope (and commensurate workload for the architects) had expanded greatly since its inception: “What was really a very modest commission turned into speaking to various stakeholders, with key parties taking us on to develop a co-ordinated masterplan.”


While Paddington Integrated developed the northern side of the station, Crossrail’s arrival would see the south side rejuve- nated, as part of its brief of “a clear vision” for the rail hub.


An open layout


First glimpses of the new station are offered by a grand, 120 metre-long canopy constructed from 6.1 metre gridded glass elements. With the designers needing to respond sensitively to surrounding buildings, the planar structure was designed to sit apart from the neighbouring, listed Macmillan House.


The station itself is housed within an immense box measuring 264 metres long,


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At either end of the station are two large plant modules, extending the entire height of the station. Fitted with intermediate slabs between concourse and ground level for increased floor area, the plant areas also accommodate sets of staircases, back-of house facilities and tunnel ventilation plants which can pump 200-300 litres of air per second through Crossrail’s tunnels. Overground, the plant areas are flagged by two large box enclosures made of precast glass-reinforced concrete.


Collaborative design Despite admitting it “sounds rather mundane,” Naybour says the ‘common components package’ arrived at by Grimshaw and Atkins was key to the design of most of the stations, encompassing the look and feel that runs across the whole of Crossrail. It included functional and aesthetic features such as the wayfinding and signage, technical components including safety doors on platforms separating passengers from trains, advertis- ing strategy, and seating.


It was recognised fairly early on in the project that Paddington stood alone among the other stations being designed for Crossrail. The others were being excavated


ADF OCTOBER 2018


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