The transformation of Manchester’s Victoria Station railway station is now complete.
The transformation of Manchester’s Victoria Station railway station is complete, marking the end of a complex three year project, creating not only a gateway to the city but also a new destination in its own right. For its client Network Rail, BDP is the architect and heritage consultant for the comprehensive redevelopment, which has returned Victoria to its former position as one of the leading railway stations in the country.
The design has been masterminded by BDP’s Manchester studio and Peter Jenkins, BDP’s Transport Architect Director. Morgan Sindall was the project main contractor. The main feature is a new concourse which is enclosed with 10,000 square metres of energy-saving material ETFE on a futuristic roof which has changed the appearance of the station from the north of the city. BDP’s new roof replaces a series of train-shed roofs, and the new design includes a series of mezzanine floors holding retail and station facilities and improving passenger connections.
The station complex covers a variety of functions, including the main entrance to the Manchester Arena and a multi-storey car park. The multi-modal transport interchange required by Network Rail integrates these with heavy and light rail, regional and shuttle buses, taxis, private cars and bicycles. Upgraded Metrolink facilities at the station enable the new second city crossing route, now under construction. Working closely with Historic England and Manchester City Council, BDP have blended new architecture alongside the refurbishment of the original Victorian and Edwardian buildings, with favourite historic features celebrated and others revealed to the public for the first time in decades.
Victoria is one of the city’s oldest rail terminals and a historic building in its own right, dating from 1844, with a number of listed buildings and features. BDP’s heritage expertise has been utilised in the restoration of the original Grade II Edwardian frontage building, including the refurbishment of the original ticket hall dating from 1909. Original features such as the original Lancashire and Yorkshire railway tiled wall map, the First World war memorial, the original glass dome, Soldiers’ Gate, the historic station mosaics, and the Art Nouveau external glass and iron canopy, all have been sensitively restored and re-installed. A clear sustainability strategy is a key element of the design, reinforcing the station’s identity as a low carbon transport hub. The station was designed to have an energy strategy that eliminates the need for artificial ventilation and maximises the benefits of natural daylight.
BDP were also behind the award-wining successful redevelopment of Manchester Piccadilly, completed in 2002. Peter Jenkins says: “One of the challenges in designing the new Victoria was to match the standards laid down by the successes of BDP’s previous work at Manchester Piccadilly, to once again blend high-quality new architecture with a refurbishment of the original Victorian and Edwardian buildings.” The Victoria transformation is part of over a £1bn investment by Network Rail to which will provide a foundation for future transport developments, improving links between cities in the north.
The programme of work which incorporates the Northern Hub and North West electrification will unlock new routes, improve connections and provide journey-times across the north of England from coast to coast. Manchester sits at the heart of these changes, and BDP are designing all the major architectural and urban realm elements of the project.