The design of a new HS2 headhouse for the tunnels portal closest to Euston station has been unveiled for public comment and feedback. HS2’s London tunnels contractor, Skanska Costain STRABAG joint venture (SCS JV), will build eight headhouses in London to sit above the shafts that ventilate the tunnels for HS2 and provide emergency access.

London shaft locations (c) HS2

Of the eight, the Euston portal headhouse will be closest to Euston station at the entrance to Euston tunnel. It will contain lifts, mechanical and electrical equipment, and in the event of an emergency will provide access to and from the track.

Euston headhouse schematic (c) HS2

The headhouse will be located along Park Village East, south of Mornington Street Bridge in Camden. The structure is a modest size, in comparison to the scale of the cutting and also incorporates a noise barrier, which will absorb noise from the operational railway.

The Euston Portal headhouse, designed by Design House has been inspired by the local area in which it sits, which has a diverse mix of buildings from across different eras – from Victorian to post war styles.

Artists impression (c) HS2

The highest point of the building will be 8 metres above ground level and a 3.2 metre wall will separate the critical safety infrastructure for HS2 from the road. Greenery and shrubs will be planted around the headhouse, as well as on its roof, tying it in with existing greenery on Park Village East.

The public is being asked to give their preferred option for the building materials. Options include Staffordshire blue brick to match structures in the local area or red brick to complement the brickwork seen in Park Village East. The options for the access gate on Park Village East are a timber effect or a dark paint finish.

The public is also being asked for suggestions on improving the proposed design of the headhouse.

HS2 will be hosting some information events to present the designs and options to the local community. There will be online events on 28 and 29 February, as well as in person drop in events held over lunchtime and early evening of 27 February, at the Surma Community Centre.

After the feedback has been considered, HS2 will provide details of how it responded in Spring 2024 before the final planning application (Schedule 17) is submitted to Camden Council for approval.

The details are here.

Following the government’s Network North announcement in October, alternative funding arrangements for the delivery of Euston station are being considered. HS2’s London Tunnels contractor, Skanska Costain STRABAG JV, is continuing to progress with the design of the railway between Old Oak Common and Euston, including the design of headhouses.


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