One of Birmingham's leading architects has been tasked with creating a new link between Moor Street and New Street railway stations as part of the massive investment in Birmingham’s traffic infrastructure.
Digbeth-based Glenn Howells Architects has been appointed to create a new link between the upgraded New Street Station and Moor Street Station – a journey made by more than a million people every year – as part of the city’s Vision for Movement initiative.
Dav Bansal, director at Glenn Howells Architects, said the interchange scheme would create a clear pedestrian route between the two stations using high quality paving, lighting and artwork that could the be incorporated into further development, particularly around Eastside and the proposed HS2 terminus at Curzon Street.
“The one thing we established doing the Eastside masterplan was the importance of HS2 and that we must attempt to make it a positive contribution to the area,” he said.
“At the moment we have lots of things coming together and what we don’t want is to create five or six transformational areas of the city and then to forget to connect them. We don’t want a situation like Millennium Point where we created a great building but forgot to connect it.”
Mr Bansal said the project was also about establishing a blueprint that would then be followed in further development in the city.
He said: “Any future work in Eastside and beyond needs to fit in with what we are doing now. We can’t do this work and then have the HS2 terminal just dumped in the middle. What we want to see is a benchmark set for a public realm that Birmingham deserves.
“This is the first installation around the Vision for Movement project so the quality of spaces and materials needs to give those using it a world-class experience.
“This isn’t about physical buildings defining the route but creating a sequence of experience so the journey from station to station is enjoyable.”
The appointment of Glenn Howells – which is also working on the Paradise Circus scheme in the city – follows the announcement last month that the Government was committed to the £17 billion HS2 route between London and Birmingham which would see a massive new terminal at Curzon Street next to Millennium Point.
The city is currently enjoying a huge renaissance in transport investment with the £65 million runway extension at Birmingham Airport, the £600 million Gateway project at New Street, a £127 million extension of the Midland Metro as well as an £11 million rapid transport system known as Sprint that will run between Five Ways in the city centre and Walsall.
Coun Angus Adams, chairman of Centro, said: “Our objective is to improve the quality of the city environment for pedestrians and make changing between different types of public transport safe and attractive.
“This specific programme of work is just part of the first phase of our strategic vision for making it easier, quicker and more pleasant to move around the city centre.”
The detailed design phase will look at improving the St Martin’s Queensway Tunnel which runs under the Bullring shopping mall and forms a major part of the route between the New Street and Moor Street stations.
A planning application for the scheme is expected to be submitted later this year.
This project is part of Birmingham City Council’s “One Station” vision which involves creating better accessibility and connectivity between the stations.
It also connects with the £600 million Gateway redevelopment at new Street Station and future phases will include a direct link into the high speed rail hub.
Transportation consultant Peter Brett Associates and civil and structural engineers Techniker are also part of Centro’s design team for this project.