Updated designs for the two new high-speed rail stations in the West Midlands have been unveiled, with HS2 aiming to create two of the most environmentally-friendly railway stations in the world.

The stations at Curzon Street in Birmingham and Interchange in Solihull have been designed to a focus on open space and landscaping. They will both be net zero carbon in operation and achieve a ‘BREEAM Excellent’ standard. Both stations will adopt the latest eco-friendly design and sustainable technologies including capturing rainwater and sustainable power generation.

How public realm areas could look at Curzon Street station

The designs for Curzon Street are now on display at Millennium Point, kicking off a fortnight of engagement events ahead of planning applications being submitted to Birmingham City Council.

HS2 has been working with WSP and Grimshaw Architects LLP on the design for Curzon Street and with Arup on the Interchange station in Solihull. Initial designs went on display in autumn 2018 with more than 1,750 people providing feedback which has now been incorporated into the new designs.

Curzon Street

Curzon Street station

Curzon Street station in Birmingham city centre will be the first brand new intercity terminus station built in Britain since the 19th century. Eventually, there will be nine trains per hour onto the high-speed network in each direction from the station.

The new net-zero carbon in operation station design will maximise the benefit of natural resources such as sunlight and water and have new public spaces surrounding it. The designs will also incorporate the existing historic Old Curzon Street building and link it to the new station’s eastern concourse at New Canal Street.

The designs also improve access to different modes of transport. The Midland Metro runs alongside and underneath the station while pedestrian routes lead to local bus services, Sprint rapid transit bus services and other train services. The design also provides space for more than 250 bicycles.

Aerial CGI image of how the Interchange station could look

Interchange station

Interchange Station in Solihull will be a major new gateway for the region close to Birmingham Airport, Birmingham International station and the NEC.

Like the Curzon Street design, Interchange will be net-zero carbon in operation, focusing on reducing energy use by maximising natural daylight and ventilation and using on-site solar panels. The station roof can capture and reuse rainwater and the new designs incorporate sunken rain gardens in the public plaza and an outdoor terrace to the station concourse.

Another key change is the creation of dedicated pedestrian access into the station from the east of the railway, along with cycle access to the new station from the north, west and south-east through a mixture of dedicated routes.

The new station will be linked to the NEC, Birmingham International Station and Birmingham Airport via an automated people mover carrying up to 2,100 passengers per hour in each direction.

How pedestrian access to the Curzon Street station could look

The new station will be linked to the NEC, Birmingham International Station and Birmingham Airport via an automated people mover carrying up to 2,100 passengers per hour in each direction.

The events – listed in full below – will give the public the chance to see the new designs ahead of the formal submissions of the plans. In the next few weeks, the process of procuring a contractor to build Curzon Street Station will start.

Chris Hayter, WSP Project Director, said: “The new Curzon Street Station design harmoniously ingrates architecture and engineering in the true tradition of our great railway stations, bringing the passenger experience up-to-date with modern traveller expectations, in keeping with Birmingham’s ongoing transformation.

“With its open and naturally-lit concourse and dwell spaces allowing easy movement for customers and visitors alike, the station will be as much a destination and meeting place as a functioning station.

“Much effort has gone into integrating the station into its surroundings in a way that will benefit both commuters and the city’s communities by providing high-quality, safe and environmentally-sensitive landscaping and public spaces that will add to the quality of city life.

“Our 160-strong project team including new recruits into our apprenticeship scheme, worked tirelessly to deliver this iconic design and we are committed to boosting the skills of Britain’s next generation while delivering this transformative project, better connecting our towns and cities and making the Midlands Engine a reality.”

How platforms could look at Curzon Street

Kim Quazi, Arup’s Lead Architect, said: “The design of HS2 Interchange Station has been influenced by its unique rural setting on the edge of a built-up, urban area and its glass facade will offer expansive views over the surrounding landscape. The striking roof design will maximise the use of natural daylight to create a light, bright and airy interior that is easy to navigate even during the busiest of periods. Passenger experience has been forefront in the way we have designed the station. Outside, green design features such as sunken rain gardens will enhance the public space while also contributing to Interchange’s impressive environmental credentials.

“The new driverless People Mover system we have helped to design will cement Interchange Station as gateway for the West Midlands, enabling more people living in and visiting the region to capitalise on the fast and frequent, high-capacity connection to Birmingham International Railway Station, the NEC and Birmingham Airport.”

CGI of tracks at the Interchange station in Solihull

The information boards will be on display at New Street Station and Millennium Point showcasing the design of the new HS2 Curzon Street Station at the following times:

  • 16 January to 23 January 2020: Information boards will be on display in the atrium at Millennium Point, Curzon Street, B4 7XG
  • 27 January to 1 February 2020: Information boards will be on display on the concourse at New Street Station, Station Street, B2 4QA

If you would like to discuss the design, the Curzon Street Station design team will be available to talk to at the following times:

  • Monday 20 January 2020, 11am to 3pm: Come and speak to the team in the atrium at Millennium Point, Curzon Street, B4 7XG
  • Tuesday 28 January 2020, 4pm to 7pm: Come and speak to the team on the concourse at New Street Station, Station Street, B2 4QA

Find out more about the design for Interchange Station and the Automated People Mover, explore the proposals in more detail and talk to our Interchange Station design team at the following times:

  • Tuesday 21 January 2020, 11am to 3pm: The Garden Room, Melbicks Garden Centre, Chester Road, Coleshill, Birmingham, B46 3HY
  • Wednesday 22 January 2020, 11am to 3pm: In the main Piazza (in front of NEC Halls 1-5, opposite Hall 2) The NEC, North Ave, Marston Green, Birmingham, B40 1NT
  • Thursday 23 January 2020, 4pm to 7pm: AirRail Link Concourse Area, Birmingham International Railway Station, Stationlink Road, Bickenhill Lane, Solihull, B40 1PA
  • Friday 24 January 2020, 2pm to 6pm: Touchwood Shopping Centre, Homer Road, Solihull, B91 3GJ