7N win international design contest for UK railway stations

We are proud to be selected from over 200 international entries as the winners of the Network Rail and RIBA Re-Imagining Railways design competition.

The contest sought architects, engineers and designers from across the world to reimagine how small to medium-size stations can improve the travel experience of the millions of passengers who use Britain’s railway.

Our winning entry considers the needs of passengers and local communities. An eye-catching clock tower serves a civic purpose as a local landmark and meeting place for social activities. Sweeping canopies provide shelter for passengers and station facilities. The modular station design can be integrated into a variety of locations that complement the local landscape.

Panel members thought the winning concept had been cleverly pared back to create an open and flexible system which, with minimum component parts, would transform people’s experience of the station whilst aligning with Network Rail’s aspirations to be carbon neutral by 2050. The design incorporates the capacity to generate renewable energy to provide most of the stations’ power by using translucent photo-voltaic canopies which provide shelter from rain and dappled shade.

The 7N-led team including Arup, Gardiner and Theobald and Lisa Mackenzie Landscape Architect will now work closely with Network Rail to develop the proposals in further detail. Watch this space!

“This competition offered a unique opportunity to reimagine what a railway station can be in the 21st century, creating an environment that better serves the passengers and communities who rely on the British railway network and leave a lasting legacy on station design. I would like to congratulate 7N Architects on their winning entry and I look forward to seeing how they will bring their design to life.” - Anthony Dewar, Head of Buildings and Architecture at Network Rail

“7N’s winning proposal showed a confident expression and understanding of the opportunity to celebrate our local identities, the specificity and integration with our urban and rural landscapes, and the strength of our national identity through our railway infrastructure.” – Lucy Musgrave OBE, Publica and member of judging panel

“This is a highly innovative, compelling and forward-thinking solution that will have a hugely-positive impact on future station design” – Alan Jones, RIBA President

_“7N Architects’ innovative concept puts passengers right at the heart of its deisgn, from the sweeping canopies providing shelter from the elements and generating power, to the station’s frontage servicing as a local landmark. Harnessing creative and forward thinking ideas like this will be a game-changer when it comes to designing stations of the future that deliver a first class experience for all passengers. I look forward to seeing this become a reality”
– Chris Heaton-Harris, Rail Minister



HubStation has been highly commended in the prestigious NLA Awards. Our project was up against very strong competition and so we are delighted to see it recognised as a progressive, sustainable benchmark for rail transport. You can see more about the project on our website and we send out our congratulations to all of the winners! @networkrail @arupgroup @gt_llp @lucinsider
Finding the right balance. The Knab was designed to achieve a “gentle density”, ensuring a sustainable new community without requiring complex structures and construction techniques. Aware of elevated construction costs on Shetland, the proposals were developed around simple forms and a simple palette of materials, working with the existing topography where possible, with variety and interest created through orientation and careful siting of the plots. The masterplan is devised along a central pedestrian-prioritised street that provides a fully accessible route through the neighbourhood and connects each of the public spaces. The buildings and public realm have been designed to stitch the site and its existing listed buildings, a former high school, into the grain of Lerwick’s Old Town. Staggered building forms are offset around intimate streets, spaces, and residential courtyards that were designed in collaboration with @rankinfraserlandscapearch
Designing spaces to support communities. 7N worked with Nick Wright Planning to engage with the local community and identify the key moves that could be made to address some of the societal challenges we encountered at the Knab masterplan. Together, we held a series of workshops and public meetings that helped to shape the emerging designs. Through this extensive engagement, our masterplan evolved beyond housing to include community initiatives that could be structured to support the existing residents. The ambition of this was to strengthen existing infrastructure, as well as providing opportunities for the integration of a new population.
Our appointment for the masterplan of Lerwick Lanes follows the success of our recent work on the edge of Lerwick at the Knab site. Lerwick is the main town and port on Shetland. In 2017 7N were appointed to develop a masterplan for the recently vacated high school at the Knab, a promontory to the south of the town centre. A combination of high house prices with high construction costs as a result of geographic and labour challenges, had created an environment where the islands were struggling to retain and attract younger people. The brief called for a housing led proposal that would help to address the lack of affordable accommodation in Lerwick, whilst retaining and incorporating the listed buildings on site for community led uses.
We’re delighted to have been appointed by Shetland Islands Council to design a masterplan for Lerwick Lanes in Lerwick town centre. This will be an exciting continuation of our work in Shetland, following our award winning masterplan for SIC on the Knab site in Lerwick. Neil Grant, Director of Development, said: “Securing the services of 7N Architects is a major step forward for this project – they have already demonstrated that they understand the local environment, and have a professional and highly qualified team. I look forward to the detail of their work that will help us to build up a picture of what the Lerwick Lanes area could look like in the future.”
We have launched a 7N Architects quarterly newsletter! You can find it through the journal page on our website and at the below address. Our hope is that it provides a window into some of the exciting things that have been keeping us busy and inspired in recent months. This autumn’s edition covers construction milestones, new appointments, Ewan reflects on what makes a project a success, and team updates. https://tinyurl.com/4tr62c7a https://www.7narchitects.com/
A palette that feels authentically Edinburgh. The material choices within our New Eidyn project are designed to reflect the attributes of Edinburgh. Rich and characterful materials, that are synonymous with the city’s classic interior spaces, provide a warm and tactile environment throughout all areas. Bespoke joinery combined with high-quality natural materials, serves to evoke the grand townhouse spaces of the adjacent Edinburgh New Town and create an authentic sense of luxury. This project has been a delight to work on and we are enormously grateful to all who have contributed along the way. Particular thanks goes to our collaborators on this journey: @nativeland_ltd @nativelandlifestyle @nuveeninv @gt_llp @beck_scotland @beckinteriors @hudsonandmercerdesign @optimisedenvironmentsltd @wallace.whittle David Stanley Associates, and Thomas and Adamson. Photograph by @zac.and.zac
Modern living within the heart of historic Edinburgh. All of the 152 apartments at New Eidyn benefit from light-filled and airy spaces, full of high-quality finishes and crafted touches. A key ambition of the design was to ensure that residents can still feel connected with their surroundings from the privacy of their rooftop homes. This has been achieved through allowing the architecture to act as a natural and calm backdrop, while arranging the spaces in ways that bring the expansive views of the skyline deep into the apartments. Photograph by @zac.and.zac @neweidyn @nativeland_ltd @nativelandlifestyle @gt_llp @nuveeninv @beck_scotland @beckinteriors @hudsonandmercerdesign @optimisedenvironmentsltd @wallace.whittle Thomas & Anderson David Stanley Associates
A unique perspective of the Edinburgh skyline. Situated on the fifth floor, the residents’ hotel-style amenity room of New Eidyn captures the imagination with expansive views of Edinburgh roofscapes. This space offers many unique opportunities for residents to gather, while surrounded on three sides by incredible views back over the city and beyond to the Firth of Forth. Photograph by @zac.and.zac @neweidyn @nativeland_ltd @nativelandlifestyle @gt_llp @nuveeninv @beck_scotland @beckinteriors @hudsonandmercerdesign @optimisedenvironmentsltd @wallace.whittle Thomas & Anderson David Stanley Associates
A calm welcome. The New Eidyn project posed a unique challenge of how to transition from the bustle of street level to the exclusive rooftop residential areas. We collaborated with @nativeland_ltd to curate a sequence of thoughtful spaces and experiences that connect with Edinburgh’s cityscape throughout the journey. Residents and guests are greeted in the calm environment of this Concierge space that is characterised by high ceilings and generous proportions. From there, an elevator whisks them directly to the fifth floor, where they connect with the city skyline from the spacious amenity room and verdant gardens. Photograph by @zac.and.zac @neweidyn @nativeland_ltd @nativelandlifestyle @gt_llp @nuveeninv @beck_scotland @beckinteriors @hudsonandmercerdesign @optimisedenvironmentsltd @wallace.whittle Thomas & Anderson David Stanley Associates
Crafting a sense of place. 7N has been working on the New Eidyn residential development since 2017, and we are delighted to reveal our photographs of this extraordinary project. New Eidyn is the product of a close partnership with internationally recognised residential developers Native Land, on behalf of clients Nuveen Real Estate and their development partner Queensberry Properties. The result is an exceptional set of 152 homes across three pavilion buildings, sitting atop of the £1bn St James Quarter in the heart of Edinburgh’s city centre. Over the next few days, we will share more images and discuss how we reached this point in the journey. Photograph by @zac.and.zac @neweidyn @nativeland_ltd @nativelandlifestyle @gt_llp @nuveeninv @beck_scotland @beckinteriors @hudsonandmercerdesign @optimisedenvironmentsltd @wallace.whittle Thomas & Anderson David Stanley Associates
007N with the win! Our women's team did incredibly well to come away with the trophy at the Buccleuch Property Challenge 2023! The day was hot and challenging, but our teams rose to the occasion and completed various gruelling tasks across the Drumlanrig Estate, including bike rides, hill climbs, an assault course, swimming, and axe-throwing, to name just a few. Both 7N teams had a great time on the estate and we were grateful for the delicious BBQ in the afternoon. It was also nice to see so many familiar faces and meet some new people along the course. We would like to extend our congratulations to all of the other participants, as well as the @buccleuchpropertychallenge and @blueskyexperiences teams for putting on such a fantastic event and raising funds for a very worthy cause: @horsetime.org.uk We are already looking forward to returning in 2024!
This week we had the pleasure of shooting a recently completed project with our frequent collaborators @zac.and.zac It is always hugely satisfying and a great honour to work with professionals who are able to capture the best of our projects. We are also excited to see our many years of hard work come to fruition! We would love to tell you more about the project but this will have to wait until the final shots are ready for publication. In the meantime, please enjoy these behind-the-scenes photos from the day.
Introducing team 007N - a crack team of architects ready to tackle the Scottish wilderness! This Friday, we will be sending two teams to the 2023 Buccleuch Property Challenge, a team-building adventure race in the grounds of Drumlanrig Castle. Over the course of six hours, the teams will tackle a variety of challenges, including: cross-country running, mountain biking, orienteering, and secret surprise activities! Each year is different and we can’t wait to see what is waiting for us this time. All funds raised by the challenge will go to the charity @horsetime.org.uk , a wonderful organisation that harnesses the psychological and emotional benefits of working with horses when in recovery from mental health difficulties and trauma. If you would like to contribute to this worthwhile cause, please visit: https://www.totalgiving.co.uk/mypage/bpchallenge23 We’d like to wish our teams and everyone who is competing good luck and a good wind behind them! @buccleuchpropertychallenge
A big thank you to @ocean_vertical for making our Practice Annual Meeting 2023 such a fantastic day! Last week we returned to this beautiful East Lothian steading for our annual gathering, where we reviewed the past twelve months and looked to the future. Following a morning of lively discussion about the work that we do, and what is in the pipeline, the team took part in an afternoon of exciting activities: coasteering, axe-throwing, archery, and cycle-touring! As ever, the team at Hedderwick Hill Stables were welcoming, helpful, and they made sure that everything ran smoothly. They have created a special venue where it is easy to get comfortable, enjoy some time away from the city, and try something new! We’d also like to thank @barbarellabeets, @bostockbakery, and @winewednesdaysnorthberwick for the wonderful food and drink!
New milestone reached in the creation of a new, green neighbourhood in Edinburgh. 7N Architects has recently submitted a planning application for 256 sustainable homes at Ferry Road, Edinburgh. This project has been led with clear and progressive visioning from our clients at Artisan Real Estate and has benefitted from extensive consultation with City of Edinburgh Council. Designed around high quality green space, the development will provide a substantial net-biodiversity gain alongside flexible new commercial space that fronts onto Ferry Road, helping to establish Crewe Toll as a key area in Edinburgh’s future growth. All units will benefit from a large central communal garden, biodiverse green roofs, and a ‘wetland’ area to enhance local ecology. Low carbon technologies, such as individual air-source heat pumps within each home, will ensure that this project is fossil-fuel free and a benchmark for future large-scale housing developments within the city. This has been a great team effort by all of those involved and we look forward to taking this project forward. Visualisations by @daakostudio @artisan_real_estate @jll REInvest Asset Management Axiom Project Services Quattro Consult Ltd MRG New Acoustics Direct Ecology Transport Planning Ltd. OFR Streets UK
A gateway building for the regeneration of Salamander Street. We are delighted to announce that our Salamander St project has recently been granted planning permission. By optimising the potential of the site, the proposal helps to deliver new homes and contributes to the emerging, residential character of the area. Following the principles of NPF4, the proposals facilitate the re-use of brownfield land, enable biodiversity gain, support sustainable transport solutions, and promote compact urban growth and the creation of liveable places Arranged in a u-shaped form, the design reinstates the street-edges to Salamander St and Salamander Yards, while also presenting an open landscaped courtyard to the south. The development has been designed in anticipation of wider public real improvements along Salamander St, including the Leith Connections program for cycle ways and Copenhagen crossing at road junctions. Proposals include the creation of a ‘pocket park’ to the north east edge of the site, offering environmental improvements to the street end and creating much needed public space and planting to the road. Looking ahead to the implementation of City Plan 2030, the development will deliver 35% affordable housing.
A sensitive approach to brownfield urban sites. Comprising 46 new homes, including on-site affordable provision, the project will deliver a varied mix of one, two and three bed apartments on brownfield land and provide much needed housing in the city centre. All dwellings are designed with flexible family living in mind, secure cycle storage, electric car charging, city car club provision, and close proximity to public transport links, making it easier for residents to lead a sustainable lifestyle. Visualisation by 7N Architects. @s1developments @harleyhaddow @wardellarmstrong_llp @atelier_ten The Keenan Consultancy AOC Archaelogogy Group Geovia Kaya Consulting Donal Roger Associates Tay Ecology
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