It's still half a decade before passenger trains will slide through Canary Wharf Crossrail station. Yet the Norman Foster-designed complex is nearing structural completion.
Canary Wharf Group invested millions in building the station, which is longer than One Canada Square resting on its side. It needs to recoup costs, so the upper floors will open as shopping space in 2015, well ahead of the station beneath. 55% of the units have already been let.
Perhaps more appealingly, the top floor will contain a roof garden — essentially a public space, though privately controlled. The garden will sit beneath a larch and steel frame, with trees poking through the gaps. It's only half-built, and remains to be greened, but to see it up close is already a joy.
Down below, the station box is already fitted with marble flooring, escalators and interior cladding, even though nobody will see any of it until 2018 (we're told it was fitted early to capitalise on cheaper material costs during the recession, and so the site offices could be cleared quicker for further construction on North Quay). The tunnels were hidden from view on our visit, but both have now been bored through the station. Indeed, 23.5km of tunnel have now been dug, more than half the eventual 42km.
Click through the gallery above for more observations about the nascent station.