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Tubular Timber Covers Norman Foster's New UK Rail Station

Calling to mind Rem Koolhaas's tubular design for an elevated train stop at the IIT campus in Chicago, Norman Foster's massive Crossrail Station at Canary Wharf has just opened, marking the beginning phase of the roll out of a massive London infrastructure project. More than just an entrance to the forthcoming rail line—estimated to carry a £14.8 billion (~$22.5 billion) price tag—the enclosed station features shops, restaurants and a year-round garden that can be covered up by an innovative, retractable timber lattice roof interspersed with billowy, air-filled cushions. Fashioned from 1,418 pieces of sustainably sourced spruce, the curved cover is actually shaped via a series of more than 500 steel nodes—the whole structure only required four bent beams.

Meant to provide a warm, natural contrast to the steel office towers along the wharf, the Foster + Partner's project adds a new public space to a growing, and changing, commercial area. Traditionally home to numerous banks and skyscrapers, Canary Wharf has recently seen a spate of residential proposals obtain approval, including an upcoming Homes at Wood Wharf project that will feature a Herzog & de Meuron-designed 57-story tower. This new community space seems perfectly timed to reflect the evolving needs of the neighborhood.

· Previous Norman Foster coverage [Curbed]