Public space designs revealed for HS2’s new Old Oak Common station
HS2 Minister Andrew Stephenson MP has revealed exciting plans for the urban realm around HS2’s new Old Oak Common station in West London, drawn up by WSP and landscape architecture practice Grant Associates.
The local community and businesses are being asked for their feedback on the designs before a planning application is submitted. The ‘super-hub’ station has already received planning approval, and permanent construction began last month, with the Transport Secretary giving work the green light.
Once complete, the HS2 station will offer unrivalled connectivity, with fourteen new platforms, six HS2 platforms offering high speed services to the North and Midlands, four Crossrail – or Elizabeth Line – platforms, and four conventional rail platforms, which will be served by trains to Wales and the South West. Over 2,300 jobs will be supported by the construction of the new station, with over 200 apprentices. HS2 has also revealed that 650 apprentices are now working across the whole HS2 project.
“Building back better is not just about delivering once-in-a-generation projects like HS2. It is about using our investment to fire up innovation, create new skilled jobs, and lay the foundations for a thriving, green, sustainable economy for the future. At Old Oak Common, we’re not just building a world-class transport hub, but supporting one of the largest regeneration projects in the UK – aiming to deliver 56,000 jobs over the next 30 years as part of the Government’s Plan for Jobs.”
The proposals include the creation of a new public parkland that can be enjoyed by local residents, workers and rail users. The new urban park will be a destination for people to relax as well as a venue for events and pop-up markets.
There will also be provision for public art and visual installations which will animate and reinvigorate the park long into the future. It will be accessible via Old Oak Common Lane and will be formed of pocket gardens, rain gardens, extensive biodiverse planting, seating and resting spaces and a raised viewing space over the small wetland common area and station plaza.
“HS2 will not only be improving rail journeys across the UK; we will also be regenerating areas around our stations. The proposed designs for the urban space around the station will provide a new vibrant public area where the local community, station users and workers can relax. With up to 250,000 passengers set to use this vital transport hub every day, it is vital local people get involved to help us refine our plans.”
A Wetland Common at the front of the station also forms part of the proposals, which will be an area rich in biodiversity, and be a pleasant, safe environment for everyone – from children playing, friends relaxing or passengers waiting for a train or a bus. There will be a diverse range of planting species and mature trees, creating a unique place to be enjoyed all year round.
“The urban realm has been designed to provide a real sense of place for the station and the Old Oak Common Community. Its design is underpinned by the cultural and ecological connections of the area, providing for one of London’s biggest and intensively green new urban parklands aligned to the Design Vision of all stakeholders. WSP has worked closely with our architects WilkinsonEyre and landscape architects Grant Associates, HS2 and OPDC to create an extensive parkland area and integrated transportation interchange extending over four hectares of urban realm surrounding the station.”
“Old Oak Common is a new super hub set to be the best-connected rail station in the UK. The proposed urban parkland and public realm are essential ingredients of this vision and will create a diversity of inclusive green spaces for people and nature; a place full of life supporting a vibrant mix of community uses and urban biodiversity.”
The plans have been developed by HS2’s station construction partner, Balfour Beatty VINCI SYSTRA (BBVS JV) and their design contractor WSP. Following the approval for the station building design from the planning authority, Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC), in May 2020, the new urban realm proposals are the next step in showcasing how the arrival of HS2 will reinvigorate the surrounding area.
The local community can provide feedback on the designs by 6th August and two webinar sessions are taking place where experts will be available to take questions on the designs.
Image credits: © HS2 Ltd