New Architects For Ealing Broadway Station

Council hope to change Crossrail's controversial glass fronted facade

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Ealing Council's appointed new architects to try and improve controversial plans for Ealing Broadway station.

It follows increasing criticism over Crossrail's plans for Ealing's main station which include step free access, new lifts and staircases ( but no escalators), a new entrance hall and an unpopular glass fronted facade.

The Save Ealing Centre (SEC) campaign - a voluntary group of local residents - have been furious over the published proposals and say:

'CrossRail is set to do wonders for London, but as things stands it looks like a disaster for Ealing.'

SEC described the external design as:

''a disgrace.. it looks as if some drunk wants to stick a petrol station canopy on the existing concrete facade.

''It ignores the surrounding streetscape, the nearby Conservation Areas and the historic Haven Green. Brunel must be spinning in his grave to think that such mindless vandalism is being visited on his great engineering achievement.''

They have written to the London Mayor, Boris Johnson, urging he take action over the plans.

Today, Ealing Council has announced it has appointed 'world renowned architects' HOK and John McAslan and partners to improve the designs of Ealing Broadway and Southall Crossrail stations.

New designs will try and improve the look and feel of the station building - this will include redesigning the canopy and façade of the proposed station so that it is ' more striking, creates more of a landmark and enhances the surrounding area'.

Ealing Broadway is further along the Crossrail project process than the borough’s four other stations (Acton, West Ealing, Hanwell and Southall).  The council’s planning department has received plans from Crossrail for the latest stage of the Ealing Broadway scheme. It is hoped that agreement on the station’s design can be reached as quickly as possible so that the plans can be considered without delay. 

Crossrail has to seek approval from Ealing Council under Schedule 7 of the Crossrail Act for elements of the project that affect the local environment, utilities, drainage and highways.  Under the 2008 Crossrail Act the project does not require local planning approval.

At Southall Station, council-employed architects John McAslan and partners will work with Crossrail to improve both the appearance of the station and make it as easy as possible for passengers to use.  In particular, the council wants to harness the station’s contribution to the wider regeneration of the area, including proposed developments at Southall Gas Works, Middlesex Business Park and the town centre sites.

Councillor Julian Bell leader of the council, said:

“We know that Crossrail will bring huge economic benefits to the borough and accelerate the regeneration already taking place.  But the council is also determined to ensure that we get the best possible station designs because they will be significant buildings in our town centres and experience shows good design brings greater regeneration benefits. 

“We have had lots of success influencing the interior plans for the station and I firmly believe we can work with Crossrail to develop an innovative design that will significantly improve what is proposed without significantly increasing costs or delaying construction by even a day.”

Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, cabinet member for transport and environment said:

“The current design for the outside  of the station won’t ignite a yearning passion in the hearts of anyone in Ealing.  Our architects will make a useful contribution so that we can continue to push to get the best looking and most practical station we can.”

Conservative Transport Spokesmasn Cllr Phil Taylor said: ''It is good news that the Council has employed architects to help ensure that Ealing Broadway end up with more than just a functional station.   Ealing town centre’s predominantly Edwardian architecture and Haven Green require a more sympathetic solution.  The station should welcome people to Ealing rather screaming “CROSSRAIL” at the top of its voice across Haven Green.  Hopefully, similar consideration will be given to the other stations as well.”

Ealing Broadway’s forecourt will be closed to traffic for three weeks from 28 January while work is carried out by the council to improve access to the station for pedestrians and cyclists in advance of Crossrail. Drivers will be able to drop off and pick up passengers again when the works are complete.




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27th January 2013