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Competition launched to shape Britain’s future railway stations

United Kingdom Architecture News - Jul 17, 2020 - 11:02   2963 views

Competition launched to shape Britain’s future railway stations

Network Rail and RIBA Competitions have launched an international competition to shape the future of Britain’s railway stations. The competition will provide architects, engineers and designers the chance to improve the travel experience for the millions of passengers who use Britain’s railway, and leave a lasting legacy on station design.

It asks designers to reimagine small to medium-sized stations – which make up 80% of all those on Britain’s railway – so they can better serve the needs of both passengers and their local communities.

The competition encourages entries which stimulate creativity and address the changing character of our society.

In developing proposals, entrants are encouraged to consider how future stations can be sustainable and deliver outstanding value, whilst considering the impact on the environment to achieve net zero emissions to leave a positive legacy for future generations.

"Fostering creativity and developing an outward-looking, collaborative culture is a key priority for Network Rail, so I’m delighted we are hosting this competition, which gives designers a unique opportunity to leave a lasting legacy on our railway and improve the journeys of millions of passengers through quality design," said Anthony Dewar, Head of Buildings and Architecture at Network Rail.

"Our ambition is to raise the quality of design across the whole rail network as well as responding to the evolving role of infrastructure within communities."

"We’re looking forward to welcoming creative and forward-thinking designs which will help us better serve the communities and passengers who rely on our railway."

Across Britain, there are more than 2,000 small-to-medium stations which vary greatly in terms of design quality and amenities. By improving the overall quality of stations, they can better serve their communities, whilst accommodating potential enhancements to the existing and future passenger experience through good design. 

Designs should be considered for the adaption of existing stations to better meet passenger requirements, or new-build stations to accommodate the projected increase in demand for rail travel.

The competition is open internationally to individuals and teams from both small and large organisations from the design, built environment and manufacturing industries.

On the judging panel will be: Lucy Musgrave OBE, (founding director of Publica), Jonathan McDowell (director, Matter Architecture), Chris Wise (senior director, Expedition Engineering), Dinah Casson CBE (RDI designer), Victoria Lee (lead programme manager, Design Council), Paul Beaty-Pownall (managing director, BPR Architects Ltd), Sahar Fikouhi (founder, ARki), Anthony Dewar (professional head of buildings and architecture, Network Rail), Frank Anatole (principal architect, Network Rail) and Ian Grimes (principal engineer, Network Rail).

The competition will be organised in three phases, with the first phase involving the anonymous submission of design proposals. Up to six entrants will be invited to phase two each receiving an honoraria of £20,000 +VAT. 

In the final phase, up to three entrants will be invited to enter into a services contract to develop their design solutions further with a contract sum of up to £250,000 awarded to each (subject to negotiation).

Network Rail has published a retrospective photographic study of small to medium-sized railway stations across the UK National Rail network HUB – Making places for people and trains. This was produced in conjunction with David Lawrence and Luke O’Donovan with foreword by Sir Simon Jenkins.

The brief for this competition has been informed by the findings of the Design Council’s Think Station Report on the design of future local railway stations – which can be found here.

The closing date for submission of design proposals is 14.00hrs (BST) on Tuesday 15 September 2020.

For further details visit the website

Top image © Luke O'Donovan

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