The design for the surface headhouse building that will give access to the HS2 tunnels on the approach to Euston has been shown off.
Located next to the existing West Coast Main Line, the split-level three-storey building will be clad with traditional blue-grey engineering brick, in keeping with the area’s existing railway architecture. Engineering bricks, which are tough and durable, were widely used by the 19th-century railway engineers who built what is now the West Coast Main Line.
It will give access to the “Euston Cavern”, a huge space where the normally separate rail tunnels join together to allow trains to cross over to different tracks. A bit like an iceberg, the visible part above ground is a tiny fraction of what’s below the surface.
Standing next to the original 10-metre-high retaining wall, the new headhouse structure will extend above the top of the wall, with a green roof, stone-paved courtyard and entrance facing Park Village East.
At street level, the original parapet wall will be retained with new planting to help reduce the visual impact of the building.
Below ground level, a 12-metre-diameter ventilation shaft will reach down to the twin tunnels below, provide emergency escape and access for the emergency services, together with supporting ventilation and electrical plant rooms.
The headhouse will be built by Skanska Costain STRABAG Joint Venture (SCSJV), which is also building the tunnels. Preparation work will start shortly, with construction works due to start in October.