It has been announced that High Speed 2 (HS2) is to run a series of competitions to find contractors for its new, landmark stations on the £43bn rail route. In an interesting take on usual procurement procedure, HS2 has asked for design proposals covering the planning stations at Birmingham Interchange, Curzon Street, Euston, Old Oak Common.
Four leading architecture firms have already submitted first-phase plans for the stations which are due to be completed in 2026. Arup, Wilkinson Eyre, Grimshaw, and Weston Williamson have each designed with the contemporary, as well as the functional, in mind and outline plans provide exciting clues as to what the develop has in store.
The contests will be the first HS2 commissions to be architect-led rather than motivated by civil or construction specification capabilities. Such an emphasis, in many ways, characterised the ambitions of HS2 in that it will not only be a practical mobility solution but is also expected to put the UK back on map in terms on modern public transportation. The nominated design firmâs plans will then be passed on to to the elected main contractor and partnered planning and civil consultants to full project realisation. It comes as no surprise then that Sadie Morgan, Chair of the HS2 design panel, urged contractors to partner with architect firms when bidding for new work on the project if they wanted a shot at the multibillion pound project.
A spokesperson for HS2 maintained that contract agreements remain in the early stages, as yet, it is unknown whether both north and south stations will be arranged in the same way owing to varying requirements and aspirations. Confirmation is expected later this year.
During the first phase, HS2 will connect London with Birmingham, readily speeding up journey times between the north and south. In the second phase work, the capital will be joined up to neighbouring cities, Manchester and Leeds. At completion, estimated for 2033, the high-speed rail project is hoped to increase national mobility, providing vital transport links needed by businesses and the modern passenger.
Tendering for the phase two development partner and professional consultancy services will remains open until the end of the month. Let bidding commence.