Dezeen Magazine

Eurostar and creative director Christopher Jenner part company

Business news: South African designer Christopher Jenner has left his position as creative director of cross-channel rail company Eurostar less than two years after taking over the role from Philippe Starck.

Eurostar confirmed that London-based Jenner is no longer employed by the train company, despite only being appointed in October 2013.

"Christopher Jenner is no longer working with us," a representative of Eurostar told Dezeen. "We don't have the requirements for an overall creative director as such."

Jenner said his departure after just one year in the job had always been planned. "Our contact expired as per the agreed duration," he said. "This was almost a year ago now."

Eurostar Tickethall by Christopher Jennings
Christopher Jenner combined Art Nouveau and Victorian Gothic styles to evoke the "golden age of travel" for his London Ticket Hall. Photograph by Michael Franke

At the time the appointment was announced, Eurostar said it demonstrated its "ongoing commitment to deliver the best possible customer experience" and showed the importance it placed on design.

"The newly created position, which is a first in the rail industry, will see Christopher charged with bringing a fresh view and a design-led perspective to new and existing projects across Eurostar's business," the brand said in October 2013.

Jenner's appointment followed Eurostar's announcement of a £700 million investment in a new fleet of high-speed trains to celebrate the firm's 20th anniversary.

"This partnership gives me the opportunity to bring my design skills to a wide range of customer touch points," Jenner said at the time.

Eurostar interior concept by Christopher Jenner 2012
Christopher Jenner's conceptual Eurostar cabin from February 2012, which featured individual seats covered in quilted yellow fabric

He created a concept for the interior of a Eurostar cabin in February 2012, featuring seats covered in quilted yellow fabric and a combination of hardwood and carbon-fibre surfaces.

However the design was never rolled out. Instead, trains by Italian studio Pininfarina will be put into service at the end of 2015. New passenger lounges in London, Paris and Brussels are being worked on by an unnamed design studio.

The only project Jenner completed for the high-speed service, which links the UK and continental rail networks via a tunnel beneath the English Channel, was the Eurostar ticket hall at London's St Pancras International station.

Eurostar redesign by Pininfarina
Italian studio Pininfarina's new trains for Eurostar will be put into service by the end of 2015

Opened in 2014, the interior features hand-blown glass, wooden detailing and etched stainless steel. At the time Jenner said he hoped it would bring an element of the "golden age of travel" to the station.

Jenner took over the creative direction of Eurostar services from French designer Philippe Starck, who was never officially named as creative director but was nonetheless tasked with the overhaul of the firm's train interiors, signage, lounges and staff uniforms in 2001. Starck continued to work with the firm as a consultant until 2005.