BIM 12
© Javier Callejas
BIM 13
© Javier Callejas
Birmingham New Street Station 19
© Javier Callejas
Birmingham New Street Station 17
© Valerie Bennett
Birmingham New Street Station 20
© Valerie Bennett
BIM 11
© Javier Callejas
© Javier Callejas

Birmingham New Street Station

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

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 will be clad in a curved skin of individual panels, in a bespoke cladding system which 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 which 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 atria 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, and ongoing liaison with both the client and Atkins, who are 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.

Stainless steel cladding in the newly refurbished mainline train station

Birmingham, UK
Network Rail

AZPML (formerly Foreign Office Architects)

Façade and atrium: £ 35 million; Overall: £ 600 million
10,500 m²
  • 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