The young construction professionals heard from the project team at the long-awaited Birmingham Gateway project, a £600m redevelopment of the city's key hub, New Street station. From client Network Rail, head of design Carol Stitchman described how she has spent the past eight years working out a more efficient and enjoyable way to deal with the 120,000 people who use New Street every day, bringing in natural light and much improved accessibility.
Then John Worthington, lead project manager at Mace for the New Street redevelopment, explained the supremely technical workings behind concept architect FOA's super-shiny stainless steel facade – and exactly how the team is going to completely transform a working station on a tightly enclosed site with no possibility of budget overruns, by 2014.
Afterwards, there was a volley of questions from the audience, ranging from “No, but what's it really going to cost?” to the impact of the recession to how on earth they were going to keep that facade clean.
Noelle Wright, design package manager at lead consultant Atkins, responsible for translating FOA's design into something buildable, was also on hand to answer questions about the sustainable technologies that will be incorporated. The station must achieve a “very good” BREEAM rating, albeit on a bespoke scale – BREEAM doesn't easily assess stations, added Stitchman – though it should at least score highly on public transport.
The next Phase One event takes place in London on 9 July. Visit Phase One to register for more information.
Watch fly-throughs of the new station