HS2 reveals designs for Canterbury Works vent shaft headhouse in London


HS2 has unveiled updated designs for the Canterbury Works vent shaft headhouse and compound, in South Kilburn, London.  

The vent shaft will be one of four structures to be constructed to offer ventilation and emergency access to the high-speed rail line for the 4.5mile long Euston Tunnel running between Euston and Old Oak Common.

Published as part of an ongoing engagement with the local community, the updated design indicates that the structure, once built, will be visible from the current network of rail lines and local properties and will be surrounded by plants.  

Most of the structure, to be located behind Canterbury Road and Canterbury Terrace, will feature several materials such as dark grey engineering brick, and grey softwood timber.

The building roof will feature ‘green roof’ with a range of plants to improve sustainability.

To be built below ground level, a 40m deep ventilation shaft will touch down to the twin tunnels below. The fans and other equipment above ground are designed in such a way to regulate air quality and temperature and eliminate smoke in case of a fire.

HS2 Ltd’s design director Kay Hughes said: “The HS2 line through London will be mostly underground in tunnels and this is one of the few visual manifestations of the railway between Euston and West Ruislip.

“Located on a brownfield site, we have been conscious of the proximity of local neighbours and views in developing the design and surrounding landscape. I hope that the design will be welcomed by the local community.”

The plans have been drawn up by HS2 Ltd’s main works contractor SCS JV, which consists of Skanska Costain STRABAG, teaming up with architects from Arup TYPSA STRABAG.

The SCS JV team will also work with St Mary’s Catholic Primary school to discuss about the landscape opportunities for a ‘pocket park’ area beside the school.

Proposals for this space include a sensory garden, a green wall and an educational play space to offer a natural learning environment for children.

HS2 has revealed updated designs for the Canterbury Works vent shaft headhouse and compound, in South Kilburn, London. (Credit: High Speed Two Ltd)

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