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Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Centre West 4, London, United Kingdom

Hammersmith to get new transport interchange
London Buses are improving their existing bus station facilities at Hammersmith which is at the hub of many routes. The project retains the bus station at first floor level, and increases physical area by installing a deck over the underground railway and over the vacant site on the North East corner of the Hammersmith Gyratory. The complex engineering required to expand the bus station, particularly over the railway, requires careful planning and extensive consultation with third parties.

The scheme looks to integrate a brand new 21st Century bus station facility connecting to the underground station, with a landmark quality office building above ground. The design has been driven in the first instance by achieving the best possible bus station layout, and many options have been explored and examined during this process.

The movement of buses and people is at the very heart of the concept. As a major new interchange station linking all modes of public transport, the architects aim to capture the spirit of movement within the architectural solution. As buses circulate on the first floor they weave their way around the central passenger waiting spaces and the entire floor area is utilised for bus standing facilities and bus stops. This sweeping path translates to a plan footprint which uses the full extent of the site, manifesting on the facade as a series of upper floor projections.

The projections mark the entrance to the bus station from ground level, whilst also becoming a visual and tactile surface that the passenger moves through (escalators), walks upon (floor surface), is covered by (roof plane) and experiences when on the bus (ribbon).

The ribbon is a striking feature of the design which is an expression of the dynamic function of the bus station. The ribbon forms the street facade of the bus station, and is re-introduced to the upper parts of the office building in an holistic approach. The spaces behind the projecting upper floors become conference rooms or amenity spaces, these also present themselves to the inner elevations facing the bus station, so that the building can be seen as an object with all facades having a public presence.
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