Designs for HS2 Canterbury Works vent shaft and headhouse revealed

Today (Tuesday 27 October) HS2 has revealed updated designs for the Canterbury Works vent shaft headhouse and compound, in South Kilburn, London.  It will be one of four structures that will be built to provide ventilation and emergency access to the high speed rail line for the 4.5mile long Euston Tunnel between Euston and Old Oak Common. The designs have been published as part of a ongoing engagement with the local community.

The headhouse features and the materials chosen, are designed to embed the building within the local townscape. A variety of materials used in the design, with dark grey engineering brick, and grey softwood timber making up much of the structure. Situated behind Canterbury Road and Canterbury Terrace, the structure will be visible from the existing network rail lines and local properties.

The structure will be surrounded by planting, with a mixture of tree and shrub species creating an enhanced bio-diverse habitat for wildlife.  The building roof will be covered with a ‘green roof’ containing a range of biodiverse planting to improve sustainability.

Below ground level, a 40 metre deep ventilation shaft will reach down to the twin tunnels below, with fans and other equipment above ground designed to regulate air quality and temperature, remove smoke in the event of a fire and provide access for the emergency services.

Kay Hughes, HS2 Ltd’s Design Director said:

“The HS2 line through London will be mostly underground in tunnels and this is one of the few visual manifestations of the railway between Euston and West Ruislip. Located on a brownfield site, we have been conscious of the proximity of local neighbours and views in developing the design and surrounding landscape. I hope that the design will be welcomed by the local community.”

The plans have been drawn up by HS2 Ltd’s main works contractor SCS JV, – a team made up of Skanska Costain STRABAG – working with architects from Arup TYPSA STRABAG.

The SCS JV team will also continue to work with the local school, St Mary’s Catholic Primary, to discuss the landscape opportunities for a “pocket park” area beside the school. Proposals for the use of this space include a sensory garden, a green wall and an educational play space designed to provide a natural learning environment for the children.

James Richardson, Managing Director for Skanska Costain STRABAG joint venture (SCS JV) said:

“As our work ramps up across all of our sites, these exciting designs give a glimpse of how the vital structures will complement the surrounding environment. We are committed to working closely with the local community and look forward to getting their input to help us shape the final designs.”

There are still some design elements that need to be refined including the appearance of a security boundary wall around the perimeter of the headhouse. The updated design plans for the headhouse went on public display today, with local residents invited to view information online and attend online engagement events where they will be able to learn more about the design and construction of the vent shaft and headhouse.

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