Places And Spaces: A Crossrail Exhibition In Bloomsbury

The new transport route, which should be mostly open by the end of 2018, will connect Reading in the west with Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east. Almost all of the 40 intervening stations (yes, it really is that many) will involve major redevelopment at ground level. This exhibition looks at each station in sequence, focusing on the plazas, plantings, pavements and public areas planned for each site, plus some of the buildings that will rise above the stations.

It’s a useful primer of what we can expect, but only a primer. Many of the plans are still sketchy at this stage, so don’t expect detailed renderings and information for all locations. As is so often the case with NLA exhibitions, many of the diagrams seem to come straight from the planners’ CAD packages, with little interpretation. What’s the point of all these maps that don’t include street names? Grumble aside, this small exhibition is worth half an hour of any Londoner’s time — a first glimpse of important changes to out streetscape.

Places and Spaces: Urban Realm and Development on the Crossrail Route is at New London Architecture, 26 Store Street, WC1E 7BT until 15 August, just a short walk from Goodge Street tube. Entrance is free, and includes access to a wonderful 3D model of central London.

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