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NEWS TRANSPORT Terracotta clads HS2 cube COMPETITION


Leicester practice commended for research pod


Multi-disciplinary design practice rg+p has received international acclaim for its design for a mobile research station to monitor the effects of global warming in the Arctic. The practice’s Leicester office entered the concept for the ‘LAKA: Architecture that Reacts’ competition to devise an innovative solution to a social or environmental issue; as well as a reTh!nking competition. David Morgan, architectural


assistant at rg+p, explains the concept for the ‘Arctic Seed’: “Inspired by the technology and forces of nature, our proposal consisted of a lightweight, prefabricated and inhabitable pod as a prototype for exploration and scientific research.” Containing equipment and supplies


Images © Weston Williamson+Partners


HS2 have released a proposal for the replacement London Underground substation and vent shaft at Euston, designed by architects Weston Williamson + Partners, with ‘The Shard’ architect William Matthews. The four-storey cube will contain a substation for London Underground and UK Power Networks, as well as a vent shaft for the Northern line. Clad using more than 13,000 glazed


ivory white terracotta tiles, the design draws inspiration from historic London Underground stations nearby such as Great Portland Street, and will help to reflect light into the surrounding streets. A pattern of perforated tiles will allow air


into the building and help provide variation to the facade. The use of tiles also echoes the tradition of cladding the back of tall buildings with glazed white tiles to bringing light into courtyards and confined spaces. HS2’s London programme director, Rob Carr said, “HS2 will transform Euston, the new vent shaft will be one of the first things we build, and it’s important we get it right.” Weston Williamson + Partners managing


partner, Philip Breese said, “It will be an important building in the reconfiguration of the public spaces around the station.” “The imaginative cladding design has


been developed to respond to the technical requirements of the structure and its position in an existing and part emerging townscape. The use of faience tiles aims to bring a human scale, reflect light and allow the shaft to breathe.”


This will be the first major structure to be built as part of the transformation of the station ahead of the arrival of high-speed services due in 2026.


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the station, launched from a support vessel, can gather data from a range of sites, in advanced and otherwise difficult-to-access locations, “without leaving detrimental impressions in landscapes,” concluded David. The firm’s design gained an honourable mention from the judges in both competitions; the ‘LAKA: Architecture that Reacts’ competition attracted 130 entries from 30 countries. The firm has also received an


Incentive Award for a concept to regenerate a former tobacco factory in Riga, Latvia.


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