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Birmingham New Street Station.

A joint scheme led by Network Rail has seen Birmingham New Street rail station undergo a complete overhaul in recent years. This competition-winning entry from AZPML, including the construction of a new 10,500 m² concourse, introduced yet another iconic structure to the city centre, building on a growing trend.

Stainless steel cladding in the newly refurbished mainline train station

Birmingham, UK
Network Rail
AZPML (formerly Foreign Office Architects)
Project Value
façade and atrium: £ 35 million
overall: £ 600 million
Floor Area
10,500 m² (concourse)
completed 2015

AZPML’s inventive upward-facing stainless steel cladding catches the reflection of the sky above, and draws attention to its highly polished surface. The entirety of the station is clad in a curved skin of individual panels, a bespoke cladding system that we helped to develop. The undulating waves of the façade wrap around the building from street level upwards, enveloping an extended concourse and top floor shopping mall.

A brand new central atrium space running directly over the subterranean platforms and concourse required the steel roof above to span up to 40 m. Our design includes huge wishbone-shaped arched trusses that support lightweight ETFE pillows to allow light to flow into the station, transforming the shopping experience and station concourse below. The façade is tied into an existing 1960s building, and once the atrium was in place, new steel members incorporated and the opening for the atrium roof formed, certain areas of the existing building were then supported off the new structure.

Details such as these, involving the interaction between the new cladding and structure and the existing building, required meticulous design and phasing, as well as ongoing liaison with both the client and Atkins, who were overall lead designers. Where information was lacking about the original building, Atkins undertook intrusive investigations to confirm structural options. Given the constraints of a fully functioning mainline station and shopping centre, which brought with them temporal and programming limitations, our emphasis was on providing a high-quality design and causing minimal disruption whilst improving on the project programme and cost.


2018 BCO Regional Committee Chair’s Award

2016 IStructE Structural Award

2016 BCI Award – Community Engagement Award – Shortlisted

2016 BCI Award – Major Building Project of the Year – Shortlisted

2016 UK Rail Industry Award

2016 National Rail Award

2016 ICE Regional Awards – Construction award

2016 ICE Regional Awards – Overall winner

2016 Rail Business Award

2016 Constructing Excellence Award

2016 Engineering News-Record Award

2016 RICS Regional Award

2016 Construction News Award

2016 Building Awards – Building Magazine Project of the Year

2016 MIPIM UK Visionary Award

2016 UK Tekla BIM Award

Central Park
Central Station.
Napoli Afragola
High Speed
Train Station.