London's Blackfriars Station redesign will bridge the North and South banks of the Thames
Work has now started on the £350m redevelopment that will make London’s Blackfriars the first station to span the river Thames.
Two architects are involved in the project, (Jacobs designing the building and Tony Gee & Partners designing the bridge), which forms part of the £5.5bn Thameslink Programme to ease rail congestion and to cope with a predicted growth in commuters.
Although Blackfriars station used to contain an entrance on the South Bank in the 19th century, the present entrance is on the north side of the river. The redevelopment will extend the current platforms across the Thames, with entrances on both sides of the river.
The new South Bank entrance will provide direct access to major attractions such as Tate Modern and Shakespeare’s Globe theatre.
The existing entrance on the north side will be replaced with a curvaceous glass building containing a shared ticket hall for National Rail and London Underground services and a mezzanine level.
Richard Parry, London Underground’s director of strategy and service development, said: “Once the works are complete, customers will get a new upgraded station with step free access, increased capacity and better interchange facilities between the Tube and National Rail services.”
A spokesman for Network Rail told WAN: “As well as spanning the entire length of the Thames, the scheme will accommodate a set of disused piers from an old railway bridge that was built in 1864. It’s a very interesting build.”
Blackfriars’ overground section will remain operational but the Tube station will be closed from March 2 2009 until work completes in late 2011.
The Thameslink Programme also includes a revamp of Kings Cross St Pancras, London Bridge and Farringdon station.