HS2’s ‘Sugar Cube’ Design Given the Go-Ahead

The London Borough of Camden has approved the design for HS2′s ‘sugar cube’ structure at Euston. The four-storey building will contain a substation and electrical equipment as well as a ventilation shaft for the London Underground.

Contemporary and Functional Design

Inspired by historic London Underground, the design is both contemporary and functional. Consequently, the structure will feature glazed terracotta tiles which are a trademark of many Tube stations. Roughly 13,000 white tiles will cover the exterior of the building in order to reflect light into the surrounding streets.

HS2 Euston Sugar Cube
HS2 ‘sugar cube’ structure for Euston © HS2

The architectural firms responsible for the design were Weston Williamson + Partners, with William Matthews Associates. A pattern of perforated tiles will cover the structure so that air can easily flow into the building and variate the façade – which is how the structure got its nickname the ‘sugar cube’.

HS2’s Euston Programme Director, Rob Carr, said:

“The ‘sugar cube’ will be one of the first things we build and it’s important we get it right. I’m pleased that Camden has given us the green light and I hope this intriguing, functional and contemporary design will be welcomed by all those who live, work and travel through Euston.”

Weston Williamson + Partners Founding Partner, Chris Williamson, said:

“The Euston cube is an important and vital piece of urban infrastructure which facilitates a comfortable environment for all users. It has been a close collaborative design process and the result builds on the best of Britain’s infrastructure heritage with the use of materials and expressing functional requirements.”

HS2 Euston Project

The London Borough of Camden approved the construction plans for the ‘sugar cube’ under Schedule 17 of the HS2 Act, subject to an agreement on suitable lighting. Construction of the ‘sugar cube’ will enable HS2 to begin the construction of the first six new platforms at Euston.

An eight-storey 1960s office block, Wolfson House, currently sits on the site for the ‘sugar cube’. Wolfson House was originally built for University College London’s science department. HS2’s team, made up of Costain and Skanska (CSjv), are managing the demolition of the building alongside sub-contractor John F Hunt.

In order to carry out a safe demolition, the team will remove the top floor and surround the building with acoustic wrap. The wrap will minimise dust and noise pollution. The demolition team expects to remove around 2,300 tonnes of concrete and 200 tonnes of steel. The team will complete the demolition by December this year.

Earlier in 2019, John F Hunt and a team of specialists removed twenty-one tonnes of asbestos from Wolfson House.

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