Location: Rotherham, South Yorkshire, UK
Structural Engineer: Arup, Leeds
Funding Contributors: Yorkshire forward, Network Rail (Access for all Scheme)
Client: South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE)
Area: 1,150 sqm
Photographs: Daniel Hopkinson
Rotherham Central railway station has been greatly improved thanks to a £8.5 million redevelopment project designed by AEDAS Architects.. The station now has state-of-the-art facilities including new lifts and stairs which provide better access for passengers. Construction work began at the station in spring 2010. Other areas of the station which have been improved include a new ticketing office, new waiting room, new lighting, improved passenger information screens and entrance.
South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE) Director of Customer Experience, David Young, said: “We are confident that customers will be impressed with the significant improvements in the station’s facilities, which we hope will contribute to making the town a much more vibrant, successful and healthy place for people to live, work, visit and invest in.” The project has been led by South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE) in partnership with Network Rail, Northern Rail and Rotherham MBC. SYPTE is pleased to acknowledge that the redevelopment of the station has been generously supported by the European Union through the European Regional Development Fund 2007-13. Aedas’ design for the station provides a modern new gateway to the town.
The project is a key element in the Rotherham Council’s 25 year vision to redevelop the town, providing high quality retail, leisure, office, residential and public spaces. Through their competition-winning design, Aedas wanted to ensure that the station became a catalyst for regeneration and investment in Rotherham. Aedas designed a bespoke lightweight structure incorporating enclosed stair and lift towers to both platforms. This includes distinct platform canopies creating a spacious and airy environment while providing shade and lengthened platforms connecting new vertical circulation and providing longer operation platforms.
They have also incorporated other elements and materials, such as cedar to provide a softer interface within the hard palette of industrial materials. The brief also required the station to improve physical and visual connectivity within the town centre together with improved passenger accessibility, sustainability and the potential for the future expansion of the station. Alistair Branch, Associate Director at Aedas Leeds Office told Premier Construction about the redevelopment.
“The project started in late 2007 as an initiative between SYPTE and Yorkshire forward as a scheme to enhance the existing station with a focus towards providing a new gateway to Rotherham. “Part of the original competition design concept was to use the lift shafts as a beacon for the station – we made them taller and incorporated signage and glazing into the design with internal and external lighting to the lift shafts to illuminate them and signify the stations location.” “The main inspiration for the station was to provide a contemporary, modular, lightweight structure with improved permeability and passenger comfort with an industrial aesthetic to the building, reflective of north light architecture.
The design developed at concept stage is almost identical to what is open and operational today and that is testament to SYPTE and Yorkshire Forward’s focus on design quality. We worked closely with the client and stakeholders to drive the scheme to make sure it retained the concept integrity that they selected at competition stage.” Sustainability has also been an integral part of the client’s requirements, achieving a BREEAM accreditation of ‘very good’. In addition to sourcing local materials and carefully considering what materials should be used, renewable technologies have been incorporated through rain water harvesting and photovoltaic panels installed on the roof of the main entrance building. To begin integrating the new station into the town, SYPTE are undertaking a final package of gateway works to finish the connection between the station and adjacent canal with improved seating, lighting and landscaping.
Alistair added: “The design of the new station has sought to unify the elements of the station within a coherent architectural approach, using form and structure to create a dramatic and architecturally impressive gateway, enhancing the user experience and greatly improving the town centre.”