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Abbey Wood Station, Bexley

Words:
Regional Awards Jury

Fereday Pollard’s transport hub delivers seamless experience for passengers beneath a great sweep of timber roof

Abbey Wood Station.
Abbey Wood Station. Credit: Richard Lewisohn

2024 RIBA London Award

Abbey Wood Station, Bexley
Fereday Pollard Architects for Network Rail
Contract value: Confidential
GIA: 573m2

Abbey Wood Station provides a major interchange between national rail services and the terminus of one of the eastern branches of the Elizabeth Line, with capacity for 20,000 at peak hours. The station has been in planning since 2008. The project team at Fereday Pollard Architects, who have seen it through to completion, impressed the jury with their enthusiasm and knowledge of its operations. It stands out for its accessibility and legibility. 

  • Abbey Wood Station.
    Abbey Wood Station. Credit: Jan Kroes
  • Abbey Wood Station.
    Abbey Wood Station. Credit: Richard Lewisohn
  • Abbey Wood Station.
    Abbey Wood Station. Credit: Richard Lewisohn
  • Abbey Wood Station.
    Abbey Wood Station. Credit: Richard Lewisohn
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Successfully addressing complex urban design issues, it creates a generous civic plaza and delivers a seamless experience for passengers beneath the great sweep of its timber roof.

The jurors arrived just as the evening rush hour was starting, and remarked how smoothly the station managed demand. Their tour began at lower street level, which connects with a new plaza via four new glazed lifts. The lifts replace an unwieldy zigzag of ramps and open up access on all sides of the station – a solution praised for its clarity and safety. Representatives of the station’s staff describe how enjoyable the building is to work in; there is a palpable sense of community spirit.

The architecture combines scale and legibility. Walking distances have been reduced by the introduction of three bridges to link platforms seamlessly. The new station connects to the main road in front, the Harrow Manorway, which now also offers connections to the bus service. Bridges have been created at several points across the lines. These are glazed from floor to ceiling, giving a feeling of openness and generosity, and negating the need for excessive signage by making wayfinding clear and intuitive.

  • Abbey Wood Station.
    Abbey Wood Station. Credit: Richard Lewisohn
  • Abbey Wood Station.
    Abbey Wood Station. Credit: Richard Lewisohn
  • Abbey Wood Station.
    Abbey Wood Station. Credit: Jan Kroes
  • Abbey Wood Station.
    Abbey Wood Station. Credit: Richard Lewisohn
  • Abbey Wood Station.
    Abbey Wood Station. Credit: Richard Lewisohn
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The entrance to the station, which is open 24/7, is grand, and in its materials and structure, warm and inviting. This is due in part to its timber beam roof construction, which is supported by timber-clad steel columns. The building has a strong symmetrical plan that lends it a grand civic character. Its projected design life of 120 years is clearly achievable, thanks to the thoughtful use of zinc roofing, timber, and stainless steel. Throughout, the detailing is robust and of a high quality. The jury left with the view that this will become a cherished new London station, which will contribute greatly to the growth and prosperity of this community.

See the rest of the RIBA London winners hereAnd all the RIBA Regional Awards here.

To see the whole RIBA Awards process visit architecture.com.

RIBA Regional Awards 2024 sponsored by EH Smith and Autodesk

Credits

Contractor Balfour Beatty Rail

Structural engineer TGP

Landscape architect Urban Movement

Project management WSP

 

Credit: Fereday Pollard Architects
Credit: Fereday Pollard Architects
Credit: Fereday Pollard Architects
Credit: Fereday Pollard Architects
Credit: Fereday Pollard Architects
Credit: Fereday Pollard Architects

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