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Almacantar agrees art funding at Tottenham Court Road Crossrail station

By Hamish McDougall

Almacantar agrees art funding at Tottenham Court Road Crossrail station

Architects impression of Crossrail Tottenham Court Road station ticket hall at Dean Street

London’s cultural reputation took another step forward today with news that Almacantar will co-fund a new £1m artwork in Tottenham Court Road Crossrail station, central London.

Almacantar, owner of Centre Point and one of the capital’s leading property investment and development companies, will contribute £500,000 towards the costs, a further example of its investment in the Tottenham Court Road area. This will be match-funded by the City of London Corporation.

An artist will be appointed and the art commissioned in the coming months with the assistance of Gagosian, a world-renowned art gallery and Hawkins/Brown, the architects designing the station.

The new Tottenham Court Road artwork will be part of Crossrail’s Culture Line, a permanent exhibition of large-scale art across seven London Crossrail stations, designed in collaboration with London’s leading art galleries. It is an integral part of Crossrail’s efforts to design and build new high-quality stations and to vastly enhance areas above and around the new stations.

Kathrin Hersel, Development Director of Almacantar, said: “We are excited to be working with Crossrail on this innovative project. The new Tottenham Court Road station and the surrounding area is set to be completely transformed over the next couple of years attracting many more visitors to the area. Our plans for Centre Point lie at the heart of this rejuvenation. This is going to be a destination London will be proud of with significant public art, a new public square, new shops and restaurants completed in time for the opening of the new Crossrail station.”

Terry Morgan, Crossrail Chairman said: “Today Almacantar has made a substantial investment in the cultural standing of London. This new art will be viewed by millions of people for decades to come. It will sit in the heart of an area of London that will see some of the most benefit from the arrival of Crossrail in 2018.”

Harbinder Birdi, Partner at Hawkins/Brown said: “Tottenham Court Road station is situated adjacent to Soho, one of London’s most creative districts, so it was important to draw on this creative spirit in the station design. From the outset, the station was designed to enable permanent, in situ artworks. We are excited about working with Gagosian and a distinguished, accomplished artist to bring this art to fruition.”

Gary Waterston, Director, Gagosian said: “Gagosian Gallery is delighted to have been selected as a gallery partner for Crossrail’s Tottenham Court Road station. We are ready for the exciting challenge of working with our artists and the Crossrail partners to produce something to match the ambition of this major project.”

As well as Tottenham Court Road, artworks will be permanently integrated into new Crossrail stations at Paddington, Bond Street, Farringdon, Liverpool Street, Whitechapel and Canary Wharf. It is hoped they will deliver pleasure and inspiration to Londoners for generations to come and become a global destination for art-lovers.

Funding of The Culture Line falls outside the £14.8bn funding package for Crossrail. The City of London Corporation is providing significant support to Crossrail’s ambitions to deliver a world-class artistic legacy to London by match funding 50 per cent of the art works.

Tottenham Court Road will be a key interchange when Crossrail opens in 2018. Crossrail is working alongside TfL on a transformation of the station and the surrounding public realm, in one of the biggest transport investments in the West End for decades.

The improvements will future-proof Tottenham Court Road station for the expected 200,000 people using it daily from 2018. This, along with the planned changes at Centre Point and other nearby property developments and urban realm improvements, is expected to revitalise the eastern end of Oxford Street.

Almacantar are breathing new life into the iconic Centre Point tower through conversion to residential apartments and creating new shops, restaurants and a public square.  Almacantar also own CAA House and 125 Shaftesbury Avenue, both within walking distance of the new Crossrail station at Tottenham Court Road.

Recent research by GVA showed that since 2008 there have been 48 planning applications within a kilometre of Tottenham Court Road Station, equating to nearly 1,800 new residential units, nearly three million square feet of office space and 830,000 square feet of retail space. Crossrail will link the West End to Canary Wharf in 12 minutes, Stratford in 13 minutes and Heathrow in less than 30 minutes.

Crossrail’s new artwork will be the third to adorn the completed Tottenham Court Road station. It will join a TfL-commissioned work by Daniel Buren, to be completed in 2016 comprising large scale colourful diamond and circle shapes fixed to the London Underground station's internal glass walls. It will also join the existing, iconic 1984 mosaics by Sir Eduardo Paolozzi.

Crossrail will carry over 200 million passengers per year, adding 10% to London’s rail network and bringing an additional 1.5 million people within 45 minutes commute of central London. It will link London’s key employment, leisure and business districts – Heathrow, West End, the City and Canary Wharf, and encourage regeneration all the way across the capital.


For further information contact the Crossrail Press Office on 020 3229 9552 or email [email protected]

The Culture Line will engage seven world renowned London art galleries, together creating a permanent line-wide exhibition across the seven Crossrail stations. The result will be a series of seven unique destinations, with an art commission of international importance embedded into the design and architecture of each station.

Artworks are being selected by an advisory Round Table of representatives from national and local arts organisations and commercial galleries. Among the galleries already identified to work in partnership with Crossrail are: Lisson Gallery for Paddington station, Victoria Miro for Liverpool Street, Gagosian for Tottenham Court Road, White Cube for Bond Street station and Sadie Coles for Farringdon. Crossrail is in discussions with other renowned galleries for the remaining stations at Whitechapel and Canary Wharf.

Each shortlisted artist will be invited to submit proposals that incorporate The Culture Line’s Three Big Ideas:

Art & Architecture

Working in partnership with the architectural design teams and the manufacturers of the keynote materials selected for the build, artists will have an opportunity to use these materials, while integrating their art into the fabric of the Crossrail build.

The River of Light

Crossrail will be able to use 21st-Century technology to host light installations or stream digital art through the eight stations and along the whole Crossrail line.

The Urban Gallery

From free-standing sculpture to seating, from way-finding to place-making, Crossrail’s Urban Gallery will put the spotlight on individual, specifically-located art and design works in public spaces within and surrounding the new stations.

The Culture Line will be funded through private sponsorship, and will not be drawn from Crossrail’s existing budget.

The Crossrail Advisory Art Board volunteer their time and include: Michael Cassidy CBE, Non-Executive Director for Crossrail and former Chairman of the Museum of London; Colin Tweedy LVO OBE, Managing Director of The Building Centre and Former Chief Executive of Art & Business; Susie Allen MA RCA, Founding Director of Artwise; Lydia Yee, Curator at the Barbican Art Galleries; Whitney Hintz, Curator of the Hiscox Collection and Independent Arts Adviser; Ann Elliott, an independent curator and Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts; David McNeill, Director of Public Affairs and Stakeholder Engagement at Transport for London; Will Parkes, External Affairs Director at Crossrail; Christina Andersen, Art Programme Officer at Crossrail; Richard Brown, Lead Architect at Crossrail; Sam Richards, Head of Urban Integration at Crossrail; and Futurecity. This panel works together with the Galleries’ representatives and station architects to select inspiring art.

In January this year, Canary Wharf Group agreed to co-fund a new artwork at Canary Wharf Crossrail station.  Crossrail’s Art Board is now marketing to businesses and philanthropists in the UK and internationally to secure funding for the additional 50 per cent of the artworks at the other five stations. Businesses will have a once in a generation opportunity to associate their brand with an iconic piece of London infrastructure and some of the world’s most famed galleries and artists.

About Crossrail

The total funding envelope available to deliver Crossrail is £14.8bn. The Crossrail route will pass through 38 stations and runs for over 100 kilometres from Maidenhead and Heathrow in the west, through new twin-bore 21 km (13 miles) tunnels to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east.

When Crossrail opens it will increase London's rail-based transport network capacity by 10 per cent, supporting regeneration and cutting journey times across the city. Crossrail services are due to commence through central London in 2018.

Crossrail is being delivered by Crossrail Limited (CRL). CRL is a wholly owned subsidiary of Transport for London. Crossrail is jointly sponsored by the Department for Transport and Transport for London.

About Almacantar

Almacantar is a property investment and development company specialising in large-scale, complex investments in central London, with the potential to create long-term value through development, repositioning or active asset management. Since launching in 2010, Almacantar has acquired a number of prime assets with untapped potential in the heart of London, including: Centre Point, Marble Arch Tower, CAA House, and 125 Shaftesbury Avenue.

About the City of London Corporation

The City of London Corporation provides local government and policing services for the financial and commercial heart of Britain, the 'Square Mile'. This encompasses three roles: (1) we support London’s communities by working in partnership with neighbouring boroughs on economic regeneration, education and skills projects. In addition, the City of London Corporation’s charity City Bridge Trust makes charitable grants of more than £15 million annually. (2) We also help look after key London heritage and green spaces including the Museum of London, Barbican Arts Centre, Tower Bridge, City gardens, Hampstead Heath, Epping Forest, Burnham Beeches, and important ‘commons’ in south London. (3) And we also support and promote the ‘City’ as a world-leading financial and business hub, with outward and inward business delegations, high-profile civic events, and research-driven policies. See for more details.