Page last updated at 12:20 GMT, Thursday, 18 September 2008 13:20 UK

New Street designs are unveiled

Atrium view

Designs showing how Birmingham's New Street Station will look after a 598m revamp have been unveiled.

The Birmingham Gateway project, which got the go-ahead in February, aims to cater for more than 52m rail users a year.

The designs by Foreign Office Architects create "a modern gateway to the city for millions of people", project leaders said.

New Street has long been criticised for its outdated concrete appearance.

Work on the scheme is expected to begin next year.

The developers said the station would be covered in reflective sheets of carefully-crafted metal and three high digital displays will mark the station's entrances.

A redesigned atrium area is planned to "flood the station with light".

'Daring design'

Cllr Mike Whitby, chairman of the New Street Gateway funders' board, unveiled the designs in Birmingham.

He said: "The Birmingham Gateway, which will support over 52m passengers a year, demands a world-class architectural vision to embody the rebirth of New Street station.

"With the world looking on, this breathtaking design firmly places Birmingham on the international map for very high quality, daring design."

He thanked the architects and said the project would enrich the continuing development of the city and "enhance our reputation as a truly world-class city".

Skyline's 'beauty'

Foreign Office Architects beat more than 40 competitors to land the contract. Bids were submitted from designers around the world.

Alejandro Zaera-Polo, principle architect at the firm, said: "We were inspired by the movement of people and trains at New Street and the beauty of the skyline. Our concept reflects all these components."

Built in the 1960s, New Street station has been criticised for its outdated concrete look, lack of natural light and passenger congestion.

Regeneration company Advantage West Midlands has said it was important to the region's economy that the new station "creates the right first impression" to visitors.

In February, Transport Secretary Ruth Kelly said almost 400m of government money would be poured into the Birmingham Gateway project.

However, the Commons Transport Committee said it was "not convinced" the project was adequate for the number of trains which could end up using the station and urged the government to look into the issue.

Land acquisition for the Birmingham Gateway project has begun and building work on the first phase is expected to finish by 2011.

The second phase is expected to be completed by 2014.


The Spanish architect behind the designs was enthusiastic about the project

MPs criticise New Street revamp
21 Jul 08 |  West Midlands
Firms warned over station revamp
15 Jul 08 |  West Midlands
Station revamp shortlist unveiled
19 Feb 08 |  West Midlands
New Street 598m revamp go ahead
12 Feb 08 |  West Midlands
Goodbye to 'dingy' New Street
12 Feb 08 |  West Midlands
What New Street could look like
12 Feb 08 |  In Pictures
New Street 128m funding unveiled
24 Jul 07 |  West Midlands

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