High Speed Two (HS2) has released images of the proposed replacement London Underground substation and vent shaft at Euston, the first major structure to be constructed as part of the transformation of the station ahead of commencement of high-speed services in 2026.
Clad with more than 13,000 glazed ivory white tiles, the contemporary and functional design draws inspiration from historic London Underground stations, including the Great Portland Street.
The glazed terracotta tiles (faience tiles) have been used on the façade of the old vent shaft building and many historic London Underground stations, such as South Kensington, Great Portland Street and Covent Garden.
A pattern of perforated tiles will allow air into the building.
The four-storey cube, designed by Weston Williamson + Partners, with William Matthews Associates, will contain a substation for London Underground and UK Power Networks as well as a vent shaft for the Northern line.
The building will replace an existing vent shaft, which will be removed to make way for six new platforms and a new concourse at Euston due to open in 2026.
HS2’s London programme director Rob Carr said: “HS2 will transform Euston, more than doubling the number of seats out of the station during peak hours and improving journeys for millions of people every year as well as unlocking opportunities for new homes, shops and employment around the wider area.
“The new vent shaft will be one of the first things we build and it’s important we get it right. I hope this intriguing, functional and contemporary design will be welcomed by all those who live, work and travel through Euston.”
The new vent shaft will be constructed on Stephenson Way behind Euston Road, on the site of Wolfson House, a former UCL building, which is being demolished. Tunnels will link it to the Northern line below.
Weston Williamson + Partners managing partner Philip Breese said: “The new Euston vent shaft will be an important building in the reconfiguration of the public spaces around the HS2 station.
“The imaginative cladding design has been developed to respond to the technical requirements of the structure and its position in an existing and part emerging townscape.
“The use of faience tiles aims to bring a human scale, reflect light and allow the shaft to breathe.”
The plans have been submitted to the London Borough of Camden for approval and the vent shaft will be built by HS2 before being handed over to London Underground.
Image: Interior view of the Euston Tube shaft. Photo: Courtesy of GOV.UK.