Network Rail and RIBA announce railway station design competition winner: Railway Station Visualisation - Aerial ©7N Architects

Tuesday 11 May 2021

Network Rail and RIBA announce railway station design competition winner

Region & Route:
National

Edinburgh-based architectural practice, 7N Architects, has won a competition to shape Britain’s future railways, Network Rail and the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) have announced today.

The contest sought architects, engineers and designers from across the world to reimagine how small to medium-sized stations can improve the travel experience of the millions of passengers who use Britain’s railway. The competition attracted more than 200 entries from designers based in 34 different countries.

7N’s winning entry considers the needs of both passengers and their local communities. The station frontage includes an eye-catching clock tower, which serves a strong civic purpose as a local landmark and a natural meeting place for social activities. Beyond the station entrance, sweeping platform canopies - elegant and refined in feature - provide shelter for passengers. The modular station design can be integrated into a variety of locations that complement the local landscape.         

Panel members thought the winning concept had been cleverly pared back to create an open and flexible system which, with minimum component parts, would transform people’s experience of the station whilst aligning with Network Rail’s aspirations to be carbon neutral by 2050. The design cleverly incorporates the capacity to generate renewable energy to provide most of the station's power by using translucent photo-voltaic panels which provide shelter from rain and dappled shade.  

Commenting on the announcement, Anthony Dewar, Head of Buildings and Architecture at Network Rail, said: “This competition offered a unique opportunity to reimagine what a railway station can be in the 21st century, creating an environment that better serves the passengers and communities who rely on the British railway network and leave a lasting legacy on station design. I would like to congratulate 7N Architects on their winning entry and I look forward to seeing how they will bring their design to life.”   

Lucy Musgrave OBE, founding director of Publica and member of the judging panel, said: “This competition has clearly set out the importance of holistic and integral design quality when it comes to creating successful infrastructure. Network Rail’s leadership has encouraged all involved to consider how society is changing and how we can address the climate emergency and the evolving civic role of our infrastructure. 7N’s winning proposal showed a confident expression and understanding of the opportunity to celebrate our local identities, the specificity and integration with our urban and rural landscapes, and the strength of our national identity through our railway infrastructure. We wish 7N well in this next phase and look forward to seeing the work develop.”   

Alan Jones, RIBA President, said: “This is a highly innovative, compelling and forward-thinking solution that will have a hugely-positive impact on future station design. Congratulations to 7N Architects – I’m excited to see the scheme develop.”

Rail Minister, Chris Heaton-Harris said: “7N Architects’ innovative concept puts passengers right at the heart of its design, from the sweeping canopies providing shelter from the elements and generating power, to the station’s frontage serving as a local landmark.

“Harnessing creative and forward-thinking ideas in competitions like this will be a game-changer when it comes to designing stations of the future that deliver a first class experience for all passengers. I look forward to seeing this become a reality.”

7N Architects will now work closely with Network Rail project representatives to develop their design into a formal proposal that addresses a prescribed set of technical requirements, including consideration of construction methodology.

-ENDS-

Notes to Editors

Notes to Editors:

For further information please contact:

Emily Stallard, RIBA Press team, Emily.Stalllard@riba.org | 020 7307 3813 or Julia Davies, RIBA Competitions, Julia.Davies@riba.org | 0113 2031490

(For Network Rail) Katherine Sandford-Anderson, Sandford PR, katherine@sandfordpr.com | 07802 481996

  1. For press images visit: https://riba.box.com/s/9m7s9o9bhwydkw5g55icxk5myl9mujr3
  2. The winning design by 7N Architects was selected from a shortlist of five: Atkins and Pascall + Watson from London, Toronto’s Workshop Architecture, Miguel Angel Carrasco Arquitetura of Rio de Janeiro and 7N Architects.

RIBA Competitions 

Please ensure RIBA Competitions is credited when mentioning the above competition.  RIBA Competitions delivers choice, inspiration and value to clients through expertly run competitive selection processes.  The dedicated RIBA Competitions team can help you explore the full potential of your project, for further information visit www.architecture.com/competitions or email RIBA.Competitions@riba.org.

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)

RIBA is a global professional membership body that serves its members and society in order to deliver better buildings and places, stronger communities and a sustainable environment.  Architecture.com.  Follow @RIBA on Twitter for regular updates www.twitter.com/RIBA

Network Rail – Buildings and Architecture

The Buildings and Architecture team is responsible for setting the standards, policy and long-term planning for Network Rail’s built environment, ensuring the highest design standards are attained whilst preserving and enhancing the legacy of Britain’s railway. 

We run a large and diverse operation; responsible for a wide variety of buildings from iconic stations like London Paddington and Glasgow Central to the signal boxes and maintenance depots that are vital in providing a safe and reliable railway for our passengers. 

With an outward-looking and collaborative culture, we work closely with the wider design community to develop our approach to quality, sustainable design. In partnership with the Design Council, we’ve created a framework - ‘Principles of Good Design’ - which describes our long-term vision and ambitions. 

It is our mission to deliver a better travelling experience for the millions of passengers who use our railway each day through good design, and to provide world-class infrastructure which will consider the individual whilst connecting the nation.  

7N Architects

7N Architects bring an integrated approach to placemaking. We specialise in generating innovative ideas that deliver simple solutions to complex problems and focus on delivering transformational change by unlocking the full potential of buildings, places and spaces. www.7narchitects.com/

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About Network Rail

We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 20 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.

Usually, there are almost five million journeys made in the UK and over 600 freight trains run on the network. People depend on Britain's railway for their daily commute, to visit friends and loved ones and to get them home safe every day. Our role is to deliver a safe and reliable railway, so we carefully manage and deliver thousands of projects every year that form part of the multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan, to grow and expand the nation's railway network to respond to the tremendous growth and demand the railway has experienced - a doubling of passenger journeys over the past 20 years.

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