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ExploreStation – co-designing Network Rail’s community ‘HUB’

ExploreStation – co-designing Network Rail’s community ‘HUB’

24 February 2021 Written by By Sabina Mohideen Senior Programme Manager

What makes a great railway station? ExploreStation is your chance to have your say on Network Rail’s ‘HUB station’ proposals – a new model for Great Britain’s small and medium sized railway stations.

Network Rail wants to build on the enduring legacy of Great British railway stations to create future transport hubs. The HUB Station design aims to address the changing needs of passengers and local communities and significantly contribute to Network Rail’s targets for delivering a sustainable railway.

ExploreStation is a programme of engagement that offers you the chance to have your say in Network Rail’s ‘HUB station’ proposals.

A new model for Small – Medium sized stations

Small or medium-sized stations make up four out of every five railway stations in Great Britain. These are known as category D, E and F stations. They provide vital links connecting the communities living in and around our local high streets, suburbs, rural towns and villages. More than 2000 of these small-medium sized stations span every region of the country. These stations can vary hugely in their architectural style, facilities available, and the quality of the experience for passengers.

The smallest stations often provide the most challenges for passenger experience, with many people saying that their local station is inaccessible, run-down, and lacks the basic facilities.

The HUB station design

The ‘HUB’ station is a model that aims to place local stations back in the heart of our communities. It combines a high-quality station design with a strategy to re-activate the station forecourt as a space for the community.

In May 2021, Network Rail and the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) announced Edinburgh-based 7N Architects as the winner of its Re-imagining Railway Stations competition. 7N Architects is leading a design team of ARUP, LUC and Gardiner & Theobold.

  • The ‘Kit of Parts’ – The Kit of Parts is a scalable and adaptable kit of station building components, including canopies, waiting pods and activity spaces that can be combined and grown to meet the needs of different station environments. These components have been designed and scrutinised with accessibility, sustainability, and design quality at the core. The kit is built around a low carbon timber-framed canopy. Other materials such as paving, cladding and the landscape can be tailored to the local culture and architectural context.
  • A community HUB – While many of our largest stations typically open onto a forecourt or public square, it is more common to see our smaller stations facing the car park. HUB stations will see a community-focused ‘welcome mat’ featuring local landscape and planting and offering opportunities for small-scale retail, community facilities and activities within a sheltered ‘activity framework’.
  • Delivering for people – Funding and building new station infrastructure is complex and often fragmented. New guidance and standards will ensure that future stations projects, like the HUB station, engage actively with local communities to better meet their needs.

ExploreStation is your chance to have your say in Network Rail’s ‘HUB station’ proposals – a new model for Great Britain’s small and medium sized railway stations.

It is a partnership bringing together experts in different types of engagement to start a national conversation about what the British public would like to see at their local stations.

ExploreStation is delivered in partnership by:

  • Design Council – Our mission is to make life better for all by design, and we are working to build design quality across Network Rail’s projects and processes.
  • The Glass-House Community Led Design - Supporting communities, organisations, and networks to work collaboratively on the design of buildings, open spaces, homes and neighbourhoods.
  • Digital Urban –   a 3D digital design agency creating digital models for cities and creative immersive experiences for historic, cultural and community projects.
  • Commonplace is an online platform that helps local councils, developers, and infrastructure providers across the UK develop easy to access online engagement platforms.

Network Rail want to see the HUB station become an exemplar of the very best in Great British station design. So far, ExploreStation has engaged with a cross-section of communities and passengers to understand their needs and expectations from a local station. This insight has informed the development of the designs shown here today, underpinned with further guidance and feedback from the railway sector, built environment professionals and technical experts.

You can engage with ExploreStation in three different ways: through our online platform, attending our workshops and attending our immersive experiences.

Click the links below to learn more about each of our engagement activities, and find out how you can get involved.

Category: Place & Infrastructure

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