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New look for New St Station

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A radical new design for the hub of rail travel in the West Midlands - Birmingham's New Street station - has been unveiled.

The striking concept design of shimmering, reflective metal, due for completion in 2014, is the work of Foreign Office Architects.

The firm beat dozens of rivals, including many of the world’s top practices, to win an international competition and land the prestigious project.

Speaking at the launch event, Cllr Mike Whitby, chairman of the New Street Gateway Funders’ Board, said: “The Birmingham Gateway, which will support over 52m passengers a year, demands a world class architectural vision to embody the rebirth of New Street station.

“With the world looking on, this breathtaking design firmly places Birmingham on the international map for very high quality, daring design."

Alejandro Zaera-Polo, principal architect for Foreign Office Architects, stated: "We were inspired by the movement of people and trains at New Street and the beauty of the skyline. Our concept reflects all these components.”

The station will be covered in reflective sheets of finished metal and will incorporate three high technology digital displays. There will be a redesigned atrium area to flood the station with light.

The£600m Gateway project, a joint scheme between Birmingham City Council, Network Rail, Advantage West Midlands and Centro, will double passenger capacity.

Other proposed benefits include:

-- a concourse that is three-and-a-half times bigger than at present and enclosed by a giant, light-filled atrium
-- more accessible, brighter and clearer platforms, serviced by 42 new escalators and 14 new lifts
-- better links to and through the station for pedestrians with eight new entrances
-- the stimulus for the physical regeneration of the areas surrounding the station leading to the potential creation of over 10,000 new jobs across the city.

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