Construct a replacement for the busy, constrained site of the old unsightly, uninviting and poorly functioning 1980’s bus station. The new building had to be designed with emphasis on its context and the local community, as well as improve bus services for all passengers. As the site is alongside an existing railway station and tram link, creating a new transport hub for West Croydon was also a key objective.
The new West Croydon Bus Station is designed to improve facilities for TfL customers. Collaboration with Croydon council has ensured that the project met the local Masterplan whilst delivering substantial improvement to the operation of the TfL bus network.
The project recognises that waiting for your bus should not just be a perfunctory experience, instead it should be a positive one enhanced by good architecture.
Design of the new 3570m2 scheme, by Transport for London’s in-house architect and engineering team, demonstrates a carefully considered approach and a commitment to high quality architecture and customer experience enhancement, and expands passenger capacity by 21% to meet ongoing growth in demand.
The highly sustainable two-storey scheme, build around a prefabricated insulated timber frame to minimise energy usage and reduce project duration on site, includes bright and open staff facilities to the first floor, with large windows onto the street below. It is surrounded by a carefully detailed weathering steel canopy that extends around and beyond the central structure, providing protection for passengers and managing the flow of natural light around and into the building.
Brick was chosen as the principal cladding material to provide a robust exterior, with long thin Ibstock Birtley Olde English Linear, a lightly textured 327 x 50mm buff brick, selected to visually elongate the linear design and ground the new station firmly within the surrounding architectural landscape, which includes the adjacent Grade 1 listed Gothic Revival parish church of St Michael and All Angels. Vernacular detailing, with timber, weathering steel and good landscaping, softens the necessarily robust nature of the architecture.
Coupled with the open aspect and excellent night time lighting, the low-maintenance brick exterior provides an interesting play of light, shadow and texture, and helps to deter vandalism and anti-social behaviour, which had been a serious issue with the previous station building.
The style and natural flow of the station complements the surroundings, with timber seating, customer information, and the landscaping fully integrated to remove the usual street clutter.
Delivered £250,000 below a constrained £4.6million budget, the project represents a step change in TfL’s approach to bus stations and recognition that good architecture and careful materials choice are vital to achieve a high-quality customer experience for all users. West Croydon has set the standard for bus station design, and future projects are adopting a similar architectural language in order to develop a common design legacy building on TfL’s rich heritage.