Home » Edinburgh practice’s modular solution chosen to reshape UK railway stations

Edinburgh practice’s modular solution chosen to reshape UK railway stations

by Liam Turner
7N Architects' railway station design

7N Architects has won an international ideas competition to reshape the future of UK railway station design.

The Edinburgh-based practice beat a five-strong shortlist comprising Atkins and Pascall & Watson, from London; Workshop Architecture, from Toronto; and Miguel Angel Carrasco Arquitetura, from Rio de Janeiro.

The RIBA Competitions and Network Rail contest attracted more than 200 entries from 34 different countries.

Each entrant was asked to reimagine how small- and medium-sized stations could improve the travel experience for passengers while supporting Network Rail’s goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050.

Modular design

7N won plaudits for meeting the brief with a pared-back, open, and flexible system with minimum component parts.

The modular design can be integrated into a variety of locations in a way that complements the surrounding landscape.

The station frontage includes a clock tower, which functions as both a civic landmark and a natural meeting place for social activities, while platform canopies provide shelter for passengers.

The design also incorporates the capacity to generate renewable energy to provide most of the stations’ power by using translucent photo-voltaic panels.

The panels also provide shelter from rain and dappled shade.

Commenting on 7N’s entry, 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.”

Lucy Musgrave, founding director of Publica and member of the judging panel, said: “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.”

7N Architects will now work with Network Rail to develop its design into a formal proposal.

Image: 7N Architects’s railway station design. Credit: 7N Architects

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