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48 PROJECT REPORT: TRANSPORT FACILITIES & PUBLIC REALM


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


beneath to reveal the finished slab. “The concreting work is of a very high quality,” assures Naybour.


Over 100 light brown brick panels, some weighing more than 10 tonnes, clad the inner walls of the ticketing hall as a continuation of the original Macmillan Terrace facades. Anodised bronze panels clad the station’s supporting columns and the walls of the hall, forming part of the “restrained and earthy” colour palette: “These buildings are around for a long time and one of the key issues is that they are not heavily maintained – mainly due to limited access – so robustness is very impor- tant,” comments Naybour.


Naturalised light Before WW+P began work on Paddington, the existing site had become, in Naybour’s words, “a taxi hell”. Therefore, a significant move within the Paddington Integrated project the firm also designed was relocat- ing taxi access from Eastbourne Terrace to the northern side of the station. It was this re-arrangement that afforded the architects the space to implement the cut-and-cover box model, and in turn to create something unique for the public.


The underground space that Paddington WWW.ARCHITECTSDATAFILE.CO.UK


has is unusual, because it’s connected to the street, says Naybour – “a sort of implied public realm.” It consists of three levels: Departures Road, directly in front of Macmillan House; the concourse, 11 metres below; and the other side of the gap, Eastbourne Terrace 3.5 metres higher than Departures Road. From Departures Road and Eastbourne Terrace, pedestrians can peer over into the concourse below. The advantage of this configuration is that passengers are kept above ground for as long as possible. While the canopy provides shelter from the elements, its transparency facilitates, in Naybour’s words: “A visceral connection with the outside world,” further intensified by a sprawling, nature-inspired artwork overhead. The design team set “quite an open


brief” for artists to provide works for the spaces. Three were interviewed, and the decision to commission Spencer Finch was “almost unanimous”. Picking up on the practice of cloud categorisation, Finch’s dynamic artwork – Cloud Index – depicts a cloudscape, printed across the glass canopy itself. As a result, daylight casts shadows over the public realm beneath which change over the course of the day. “Sometimes there’ll be


ADF OCTOBER 2018


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