Grand Reopening of Swansea Station
A fully refurbished and upgraded Swansea Railway Station is unveiled today.
This redevelopment is part of an Arriva Trains Wales’ programme of station projects which BDP was commissioned to undertake in 2010, designing and integrating new features and refurbishing existing buildings.
The upgrading and redevelopment of the Arriva Wales estate is part of the nationwide NSIP programme. NSIP is a Department for Transport-backed scheme which is delivering £150m of improvements at approximately 200 stations in England and Wales over the next few years. In Wales the Welsh Assembly committed additional resources to improving its stations via an initiative labelled as NSIP+.
Swansea station is an important rail interchange for services between West Wales and London. It was first built in 1850 by the South Wales Railway and the station has been renovated several times throughout its lifetime. It is currently the fourth busiest station in Wales and serves around1.6 million passengers a year.
Swansea Station now enjoys a larger concourse area, with better and more accessible passenger facilities and a new booking office. The station environment is also significantly improved with refurbished platforms and modernised fittings that blend in with existing architecture. The previously introverted station environment is reversed with the trains visible from the concourse through a glass screen, and the main entrance is opened up with a new landmark canopy identifying the station in its surroundings.
Peter Jenkins, Transport Architect Director at BDP’s Manchester Studio, said: “The first impression of a town or city for a rail traveller is the station gateway; this characteristic is important to the rail operators and also the local area in terms of regeneration and identity. Equally important in the opposite direction, travellers’ last memories of a place are the rail station.
“Our design for Swansea aims to compliment and contrast the original station fabric with modern structures of a distinctive texture and form. The use of pre-patinated copper cladding is a reference back to the historic role of Swansea as ‘Copperopolis’, the global focal point of the copper industry."
“But in addition to being aesthetically pleasing and equipped with a range of modern facilities, stations also need to be functional. Being able to get information, buy tickets and catch the train is the primary purpose of the rail stations. Getting this balance right is what underpins BDP’s approach to transport interchange planning and has informed our work for Arriva Wales.”