World Class Station Design
ADesign involvement in station design has ranged from the TGV high speed expansion programme in France, to High Speed 1 and Crossrail, two of the biggest infrastructure projects in the UK. Experience on stations such as St Pancras International and London Bridge have helped to shape a passenger centric philosophy based on the idea of the station as a place or destination in its own right.
Transport is a focal point of modern life. As well as being an indicator of economic well-being the station is a unique urban public building - a multi-modal hub for interchange, services and commerce. It is also a gateway to the world and a space for life and feeling, where human contact is distinct, strong and emotional.
Traditionally the station had a distinct sense of place and form within the community where the experience of arrival and departure was celebrated. The station clock, for example, was a poignant symbol of the order and punctuality of service, mirrored by the engineering rigour and adventure of the main train shed. Stations were romantic places which provided the launching pad for travel and adventure.
Spatial & Zonal Organisation
Today's transport infrastructure is more overtly functional and interlinked. It caters for interchanges submerged beneath extensive oversite development as well as high level bridge stations crossing multiple tracks and roads. Nevertheless transport buildings still retain the unique opportunity to excite and relate with their customers by improving the experience of travel, creating distinctive and symbolic points of reference in urban environments which are becoming increasingly homogenized.
The challenges of place making and humanization remain the same as they have always has been. But to be successful transport buildings must interact with users on both a practical and spiritual level - through spatial organisation, signage, controlled lighting, thermal environment, acoustic comfort, furniture and fittings, and materials.
Environmentally transport buildings must lead the sustainability issues of efficiently moving people. We should be looking hard at the buildings we call stations and wondering what might persuade a new generation of customers to abandon their cars and use public transport instead.
3D PLANNING & DESIGN
Collaboration is central to our working methodology in the transport sector, and allows us to work at various scales and with different disciplines. By investing and focusing in BIM we recognise the importance of and have embraced the time saving aspects of early design coordination and collaboration with other consultants. Our work often involves close teamwork with multiple engineering and construction management organisations.
Benefits of BIM working methodolgy include:
• Collaborative working relationship between customer, contractor, consultants, suppliers
• Faster Project Delivery - including resolution of complex details, clash detection,checking design integrity and quantities, production of construction drawings straight from model - leading to times savings of up to 50%
• Predictability - visualising the project at an early stage helps both customer and contractor modify the design to achieve desired outcomes.
• Reduced Safety Risk - crowd behaviour and fire modelling
• Coordination Tool - Identifying interface issues in advance of construction thereby eliminating the cost and time impacts of redesign.
• Whole Life Asset Management - integral product information is built into model that assists with commissioning, operation and maintenance of the finished building.
Technical Design Assurance
A transport building, whether it be a metro station or airport terminal, must reconcile competing user, operational, architectural, engineering, commercial and service requirements. The integration of various disciplines is complex, making the design of stations, bridges and moving structures a specialist field.
In addition to general operator standards and best practice guidelines, the planning of transport spaces requires an understanding of traffic flow, accessibility, intermodal splits, concourse occupancy, congestion levels, operational safety, security, passenger information systems, revenue collection, and a keen understanding of potential commercial and on-site retail opportunities. Understanding the relevant regional urban frameworks, regeneration funding requirements, economic/social inclusion factors, and local consultation issues also requires particular focus and expertise.