The UK’s High Speed Two (HS2) has taken another step from drawing board to reality with the appointment of a new independent design panel that will support HS2 in realising its aim of applying the best design principles to all its work.
The Panel, chaired by Sadie Morgan, will be the project’s independent advisor, helping it to deliver on its key design principles around People, Place and Time.
Experts in design fields including: urban; landscape; EDI (Equality, Diversity and Inclusion); digital; brand and product will work alongside internationally-renowned architects; sustainability experts and engineering specialists to help guide HS2’s development.
Speaking as the Independent Design Panel is launched, Sadie Morgan said, “I am delighted that we’re now up and running with the HS2 Independent Design Panel. Our aim is to mentor and inspire HS2 to design a transformational railway system which will exceed all of our expectations.
The British creative and engineering industry is already delivering outstanding examples of design excellence around the world. HS2 is a huge opportunity to bring that brilliance home.”
Welcoming the Independent Design Panel’s formation, Transport Minister Robert Goodwill said, “This Independent Design Panel is crucial to ensure HS2 achieves its full potential for everyone. This includes making sure that passengers get the experience they want from HS2 and that it is sympathetic to the landscape through which it is built.
We want HS2 to be a world class railway which maximises the benefits for the country. Having such a highly-skilled group of experts on board will help make travelling on it easy and pleasurable and ensure we have impressive stations to act as a catalyst for significant regeneration and economic growth.”
HS2 Ltd chief executive, Simon Kirby said. “I’m delighted the Independent Design Panel has now been formed. It’s a mark of HS2’s significance that it’s attracted such a wealth of talent to help us deliver this transformational piece of infrastructure for the nation.”
Forty-five experts will form the independent design panel team, contributing to the project’s development in areas where their specialist experience and opinion is required.
Members from this group will form part of the regional site-specific design panels, for example at Birmingham Curzon Street station so that the whole project benefits from the skills and expertise now available.
Cementing the principles of the Design Vision so early in HS2’s development will help it to play a key role in rebalancing the economy through delivering the benefits that flow from investing in Britain’s new high speed rail network.
Success resulting from early implementation of a far-sighted design approach can be seen at London’s Olympic Park, where design and development focused on the Games’ legacy and the long-term development and sustainability of the site.