AZPML's Birmingham New Street Station renovation revealed in new images

New photographs show the undulating form of AZPML's recently completed £750-million renovation of Birmingham New Street Station (+ slideshow).

Birmingham New Street Station renovation by AZPML

The London firm co-founded by architects Alejandro Zaera-Polo, former dean of Princeton's School of Architecture, and Maider Llaguno, reshaped Birmingham's existing 1960s station to increase its capacity to 52 million passengers per year.

Birmingham New Street Station renovation by AZPML

The undulating stainless-steel cladding added around the old station is based on the distorted shapes seen from moving trains.

Warped reflections of the train tracks and surrounding plaza are created by building's curving form and reflective cladding.

Birmingham New Street Station renovation by AZPML

Large "eye-shaped" screens have been integrated into the facade to mark the four main entrances.

Birmingham New Street Station renovation by AZPML

"The geometries of motion and the distortion of perception produced by movement have been the inspiration for the architectural expression of the project," said the architects.

"The bifurcating, undulating, smooth forms of the track field have been transferred and embedded into the geometry of the building to ornate the city and to convey its historical character as a transportation hub, where various traffic systems – such as the famous canals and the roman roads converge and overlay."

Birmingham New Street Station renovation by AZPML

The curving aesthetic continues into the interior, where a large atrium above the station concourse is topped by seven domed skylights made from transparent ethylene tetrafluoroethylene plastic.

Birmingham New Street Station renovation by AZPML

But when the station reopened in September 2015, Zaera-Polo criticised Network Rail for a "serious strategic mistake" in changing some of the interior materials for the project.

Birmingham New Street Station renovation by AZPML

Zaero-Polo initially revealed plans for Birmingham New Street railway station in 2008, after winning an international competition with his former firm Foreign Office Architects (FOA).

The firm, which Zaero-Polo set up with his now ex-wife Farshid Moussavi, was also behind the design of a tile-covered building with porthole windows for London art school Ravensbourne College.

Birmingham New Street Station renovation by AZPML

FOA disbanded in 2009 following the couple's split and Zaero-Polo set up his own studio in 2011, retaining the contract for Birmingham New Street. Llugano joined as a principal in 2013 to form AZPML, which now has offices Zurich, London and Princeton.

Photography is by Javier Callejas.


Project credits:

AZPML/FOA partner in charge: Alejandro Zaera-Polo with Manuel Eijo, Guillermo Fernandez-Abascal, Charles Valla, Christof Trenner, Tommaso Franzolini, Lola Fernandez, Sukyeong Kim, Carmen Sagredo, Takeru Sato, Penny Sperbund, Niklavs Paegle, Tobias Jewson, Mio Sato, Manuel Távora

Birmingham New Street Station renovation by AZPML
Exploded axonometric diagram – click for larger image
Birmingham New Street Station renovation by AZPML
Exploded axonometric diagram of the atrium – click for larger image
Birmingham New Street Station renovation by AZPML
Floor plan – click for larger image
Birmingham New Street Station renovation by AZPML
Section one – click for larger image
Birmingham New Street Station renovation by AZPML
Section two – click for larger image