East Croydon Studio Egret West Image 16
Caxton Works

East Croydon

2010-2014

Our work at East Croydon demonstrates the importance of gluing a project into a bigger picture, zooming out before zooming in, to establish the investment that would make the biggest difference.

Scroll
Our work at East Croydon demonstrates the importance of gluing a project into a bigger picture, zooming out before zooming in, to establish the investment that would make the biggest difference.
Show info

Strategy

This was our opportunity to make the station – the seventh busiest in the UK – and the area around it into a well-connected and well-considered new neighbourhood. After formulating a masterplan, we were commissioned by the London Borough of Croydon, alongside Hawkins/Brown, to design a new station bridge. We’d explored the feasibility of building a station concourse on a raft over the railway lines, allowing for extra track capacity and the introduction of two more platforms, but it was our plan for an east-west bridge that proved to be the perfect answer.

Location:
London, UK
Client:
London Borough of Croydon
Role:
Urban Designer and Architect
Status:
Completed 2014
Collaborators:
East Croydon Studio Egret West Historic2
East Croydon, 2009
East Croydon Studio Egret West Image 11
East Croydon masterplan showing the bridge reconnecting two parts of the town

Two major developments, one on either side of the tracks, had been the subject of heated discussion over the last 10 years, and first we needed to understand the different requirements of the two buildings and marry these with the technical constraints of a transport interchange. It soon became clear that the success of this project was actually dependent on the improvement of the connectivity to the station and, most importantly, across the railway tracks that divided the town.

East Croydon Studio Egret West Image 4

Our complex consultation process, involving numerous public and private stakeholders, was critical to our success; we needed to listen, understand and represent fairly the agendas of each party in testing development scenarios to achieve consensus. We also conducted one-on-one conversations with each stakeholder outside of the steering group meetings to better understand their particular needs and aspirations. It’s been about forging relationships, understanding the needs of the community and helping the public sector unlock the potential of the site in as effective a way as possible.

Specificity

The new bridge across the tracks has re-orientated the urban fabric, increased the capacity of the station, thereby relieving congestion, and – crucially – linked the three portions of the site together.

Clad in bold yellow panels, the structure houses retail kiosks, waiting areas and ticket machines, with cantilevered decks leading from the central spine down onto the platforms.
East Croydon Studio Egret West Image 1
East Croydon Studio Egret West Image 12
Prefabricated sections of the bridge were assembled on site.

This 100-metre-long, 700-tonne bridge was designed in collaboration with engineering firm Mott Macdonald and assembled by the contractor BAM Nuttall. It’s made up of rectangular rather than diagonal units to create a single elegant ‘Vierendeel’ truss structure. The construction challenge was to minimise disruption to the station; it was prefabricated in sections off site, assembled next to the tracks, and then craned into place over the course of just two weekends. Just as planned, the station remained open throughout.

Outside the station we designed a seamless and well-integrated interchange for trams, buses, taxis and bikes, together with better arrangements for pedestrians.

East Croydon Studio Egret West Image 18

Sustainability

The bridge and wider masterplan have acted as catalysts for many other investments, including GLA funding for improvements to Lansdowne Road and TfL funding for the interchange and public realm. They’ve also kickstarted investment into Boxpark Croydon, the Ruskin Square development by Stanhope, and the Menta scheme which will deliver around 340 new homes.

East Croydon Studio Egret West Image 20
Boxpark, Croydon by BDP Architects.

Our work at East Croydon demonstrates the importance of gluing a project into a bigger picture, zooming out before zooming in, to establish the investment that would make the biggest difference. By focusing on the need for a new station bridge to open up the east-west connection across the tracks, we unlocked the sites on both sides of the station and allowed the stalled projects on each side to move forward.

East Croydon Studio Egret West Image 17