International Terminal Waterloo   London, UK

Creating a streamlined terminal on a constrained central London site, the International Terminal at Waterloo facilitated journeys for 15 million international passengers each year at its peak and is now recognised as an iconic transport interchange.

 

Within a superstructure of glass and steel, the multi-faceted terminus houses all the requirements for international travel, including full security screening, immigration and customs border control. The resulting landmark design heralded the advent of cross-channel rail travel through a suitably contemporary monument to the new railway age.

Its sparkling curvaceous skin responds to the dictates of the site and the proportions of Eurostar train carriages, while the translucent glazing gives passengers impressive views out to Westminster and illuminates the concourse throughout the day.

Beneath the architecturally significant roof structure, an equally important two-storey viaduct supports the platforms and incorporates two floors of passenger facilities.

In particular, the separate levels for departures and arrivals was an innovative arrangement to give passengers a clearly articulated sense of direction.

Admiration for the terminal is reflected in the high profile awards it received, including the RIBA President’s Building of the Year and the Mies van der Rohe Award for European Architecture.

The curvature of the terminal's roof took shape early in the design process, requiring an innovative system of struts that were standardised and able to be produced en masse, and yet adjustable to their position.

It is a fitting celebration of the century’s biggest single civil engineering project, the Channel Tunnel.

Peter Davey, Editor, The Architectural Review

The terminal is similar in scope of function to an airport, with a myriad of services running throughout the structure, including a kitchen, staff area, holding cells and more.

It is an inspirational yet functional design, harnessing qualities of space and light to practical features, pleasing to the most discerning customer.

Alan Futter, International Terminals Director, European Passenger Services

Location
London, UK

Project Type
Rail →

Client
British Railways Board And European Passenger Services

Area
60,000 sq m

Status
Complete

Year
1993

Photography
Jo Reid & John Peck