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Crossrail construction site hoardings undergo a make-over

By Oliver Fry

Crossrail construction site hoardings undergo a make-over
  • UN World Food Programme exhibits award winning photographers to celebrate London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics

  • New architectural images of the Barbican on display in the City of London with heritage railway pictures to feature at Paddington

  • Green ‘living’ walls installed around Crossrail sites at Park Lane, Finsbury Circus and Hanover Square

Crossrail, working in partnership with organisations including the Barbican and the UN World Food Programme, has created inspiring visual displays on hoardings across central London in the lead up to London 2012 Games.

The initiative, part of Crossrail’s wider programme of community investment, will improve the appearance of major worksites, reducing their impact on the environment while helping promote local culture and heritage.

To help celebrate the Barbican’s 30th anniversary, Crossrail is exhibiting newly commissioned architectural images taken in and around the Barbican Centre by renowned photographer Lee Mawdsley.  These images will improve the appearance of existing worksites in Moorgate and Farringdon, both located close to the Barbican.

Images provided by the National Railway Museum in York are on display around the Crossrail site at Paddington, and showcase the rich history of the railways at one of London’s best loved stations. The selection of photographs and lithographs date from the coming of Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s Great Western Railway in 1846, to present day developments being delivered by Crossrail, Network Rail and London Underground.

Green walls, made of living vegetation, have been installed at Hanover Square, Park Lane and Finsbury Circus. These walls are part of a programme of measures that TfL and the Department for Transport are introducing across the capital to deliver cleaner air for London.  The ivy plants that make up Crossrail’s green walls help purify the air by trapping harmful particulate matter (PM10).

And to celebrate the London 2012 Games and mark the charity’s 50th birthday, Crossrail has teamed up with the UN World Food Programme to launch the Hunger to Hope campaign.

Images of children at play, donated by some of the world’s leading photographers, are on display on Crossrail hoardings at two major sites in Paddington and Holborn. The photographs will remind Londoners and visitors to the city that adequate food and nourishment are desperately needed by many children around the world to give them the energy and hope to play - and perhaps go on to become tomorrow’s Olympians.

The images have been donated by award winning photographers including Ian Berry (Observer, National Geographic), Jenny Matthews (Marie Claire, Sunday Times) and Peter Nicholls (Times).  

Crossrail Chairman Terry Morgan said: “Crossrail will be hugely beneficial for London, and we are determined to ensure that the hoardings around our construction sites are as attractive as possible for local communities.  To help London meet its sustainability targets, living walls are now an increasingly common feature of construction sites in the capital and also deliver air quality benefits. These initiatives won’t just improve the appearance of Crossrail sites – they’ll reflect the local history, culture and environment, and help draw attention to good causes through inspirational imagery.” 

Sir Nicholas Kenyon, Managing Director, Barbican Centre said: “We are delighted to work with Crossrail to mark 30 years of the Barbican Centre by transforming the Crossrail hoardings at Farringdon and Moorgate into an exhibition of iconic photographs to celebrate this landmark complex. We hope to encourage even more people to explore the Barbican, an oasis in the City of London and delve into our world-class programme of events and learning across the arts.”

Ed Bartholomew, Senior Curator, Image & Sound Collections, National Railway Museum said: “We’re delighted to see archive images from the National Railway Museum collection on display at Paddington.  These are just a few of the visual treasures we have on exhibition or in our archives in York.  Seeing the images at Paddington will allow passengers to appreciate the station’s rich history and to recognise how effectively its heritage has been preserved, while still enjoying the benefits of a 21st Century railway.”

Caroline Hurford, Senior Public Information Officer at the World Food Programme said: “These pictures prove that when they get sufficient food, children will have the energy to play, even in the most difficult circumstances.  Good nutrition builds minds and bodies – and WFP is determined to eradicate child hunger.  But we need London and its guests to help us!”

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

About Crossrail:

The Crossrail route will pass through 37 stations and run 118 km (73 miles) 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%, supporting regeneration across the capital, helping to secure London's position as a world leading financial centre, and cutting journey times across the city. Crossrail services are due to commence through central London in 2018.

About the Barbican:

A world-class arts and learning organisation, the Barbican pushes the boundaries of all major art forms including dance, film, music, theatre and visual arts. In 2012 the Barbican celebrates the Olympic year with many of its projects forming part of the Cultural Olympiad and London 2012 Festival. It also marks 30 years since the Queen opened the architecturally renowned centre. Among its resident Orchestras are the London Symphony Orchestra and BBC Symphony Orchestra.

About the World Food Programme:

The WFP is the largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger globally. Each year, on average, the WFP feeds more than 90 million people in at least 70 countries. WFP work alongside 2,000 NGO’s to provide food and emergency relief and is entirely voluntary funded.  To contribute to the World Food Programme’s Hunger to Hope campaign, visit or text WFP to 70303 to donate £3.00.

About the National Railway Museum:

The National Railway Museum is the largest railway museum in the world, showcasing over 300 years of railway history and attracting almost one million visitors a year to its sites at York and Shildon.

About green walls:

The green walls are part of the London Clean Air Fund financed by the Department for Transport (DfT) at the Mayor’s request. The Clean Air Fund measures have been designed to reduce levels of PM10 (a pollutant coming mostly from traffic emissions) by between 10 and 20 per cent where applied.