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Design line exhibition opens as Crossrail publishes new book on architecture of the Elizabeth line

By Andrew Dempsey

Design line exhibition opens as Crossrail publishes new book on architecture of the Elizabeth line

A new exhibition showcasing the design of the stations, art and public spaces being built under the streets of London by Crossrail has opened at London Transport Museum.

The design line: stations, art and public space on London’s newest railway uses a rich collection of material to let visitors see and feel what they will experience when the Transport for London operated Elizabeth line opens in December 2018.

Images of the stations are on display next to a new film showing the journey passengers will take from street level to platform. Visitors can touch some of the architectural components that will give a consistent identity to the route, such as the curved tunnel cladding and a bench prototype, and see a suspended glass panel that will be built into the canopy of Paddington station – just one of the many works of art that will be integrated within many of the new stations.

Younger children can try their hand at engineering by putting on orange hi-vis construction wear to design and build their own miniature station. Hand painted models, the largest of which will have a scale model of an Elizabeth line train, show some of the unique architectural features that are being woven into the design of each station to reflect the character of their local community.

Platform for Design, a new book by architecture critic and RIBA Journal editor Hugh Pearman, has also been published to coincide with the launch of ‘the design line’ exhibition. With over 150 visualisations and photographs, the book explores the design of the railway’s new and upgraded stations, the new public spaces, the trains and the artworks being delivered by Crossrail, Europe’s biggest infrastructure project.

Andrew Wolstenholme, Chief Executive, Crossrail Limited, said: “World class design is at the heart of the Crossrail programme, from the start of planning and construction through to the operational railway. As the project approaches 75 per cent complete, this wonderful exhibition and new book will give passengers a glimpse of the incredible architecture and engineering design, public spaces and exciting works of art that will welcome them when the Elizabeth line opens in 2018.”

Mike Brown MVO, London's Transport Commissioner, said: “The TfL-run Elizabeth line will transform travel across London, reducing journey times, relieving congestion on the Tube network, and radically improving step-free access with brand new accessible stations.  The exhibition at London Transport Museum will enable customers to really start to see what their new stations will look like when they open in 2018, giving a real insight into the huge transport improvements to come.”

Claire Perry MP, Transport Minister, said: “We are supporting record levels of investment in transport and new technology to make journeys easier, faster and more reliable. The Crossrail programme, which has world-class design at its core, is a fantastic example of this. The transport industry is keen to ensure lessons learned from Crossrail are applied across the full range of infrastructure projects benefitting from our investment. I also hope this exhibition will get passengers excited about the transformation the Elizabeth line will bring when it opens in 2018.”

Sam Mullins, Director for London Transport Museum, said: “Visitors to this new ‘design line’ exhibition will be able to discover how travel is being dramatically shaped by Europe’s largest infrastructure project. Come and get a taste of Crossrail’s modern station architecture which has been carefully designed with the local area in mind, while younger visitors can see a scale model of an Elizabeth line train or have a go at building a model station.” 

Hugh Pearman, author of Platform for Design and Editor of RIBA Journal, said: “Crossrail - the Elizabeth Line - is now entering its concluding, and for me most interesting, phase. With just over two years to go it will soon become an everyday fact of life for millions of people, redefining our perceptions of London and the South East in the process.  Finally, we can start to see the architecture and design of the stations being built, along with some ambitious wider urban design that goes with it. For me this has been a perfect commission, combining my interests in architecture, engineering, and transport, talking to the many people involved and being boyishly excited about walking through the new, spacious underground realm forming beneath our feet. We will all see and use London in a different way after this.”

Children aged 17 and under go free (under 12s must be accompanied by an adult). Save money by booking tickets in advance online at www.ltmuseum.co.uk - £16.00 for adults and £13.50 for concessions. Tickets on the door are priced at £17.00 for adults and £14.50 for concessions. Tickets allow unlimited daytime entry to all Museum galleries and temporary exhibitions for a whole year. The design line: Stations, art and public space on London’s newest railway exhibition is included as part of the admission fee.

Platform For Design, by Hugh Pearman, is available to purchase from London Transport Museum shop in Covent Garden and online at www.ltmuseumshop.co.uk

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For further information contact the Crossrail Press Office on 020 3229 9552 or email pressoffice@crossrail.co.uk

About Crossrail

The route will pass through 40 stations from Reading and Heathrow in the west, through new twin-bore 21 km tunnels to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east. The Transport for London (TfL) run railway will be named the Elizabeth line when services through central London open in December 2018. The Crossrail project is being delivered by Crossrail Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of TfL, and is jointly sponsored by the Department for Transport and TfL.

About London Transport Museum

London Transport Museum is situated in the heart of Covent Garden and filled with stunning exhibits; the Museum explores the powerful link between transport and the growth of modern London, culture and society since 1800. Historic vehicles, world-famous posters and the very best objects from the Museum’s extraordinary collection are brought together to tell the story of London’s development and the part transport played in defining the unique identity of the city.

The Museum is an educational and heritage preservation charity. Its purpose is to conserve and explain the history of London’s transport, to offer people an understanding of the Capital’s past development and to engage them in the debate about its future. The Museum’s charity number is 1123122.