Corby Railway Station, Corby, NN17 1TT
Corby Borough Council
Whitey Young Green (WYG), DSP Architects
Corby Rail Station is a brand new £17m passenger interchange that has won several awards for excellence in design and partnership working. Construction of the station took just 10 months and was the culmination of a 40-year campaign to bring a passenger rail service to Corby, which had been described as the largest town in the UK without a railway station.
The project was acclaimed as winner of the Institute of Highways and Transportation (IHT) Award for Effective Partnership. This award was given due to the recognition of the close partnership arrangement that enabled the station to be built on time, on budget and to a very high standard.
Corby station is owned by Network Rail and managed by East Midlands Trains. The new station means Corby will have its first direct train link with London since the 1960s.
The modern design of the station meant that the hard landscaped areas needed to reflect this vibrant, dynamic image. Corby Borough Council was delighted with the paving and, as a result of this, is planning to extend it from Corby Rail Station right through to the town centre and in doing so create the “Corby Walk.
North Northants Development Company, working on behalf of Corby Borough Council, wanted to create a hard landscaped area that had visual impact and complemented the modern design of the new station building. The development company worked with Architects WYG which specified blue from the La Linia range, because blue is synonymous with the town of Corby and it was felt would add impact. Blue is widely used on street furniture, shop fronts and signage, therefore it was the natural colour choice to provide the design element to this innovative paving scheme.
The theme was continued by the use of blue railings along the track side and blue ceramic tiles on the feature wall to the entrance of the station building.
Light Granite and Anthracite Basalt paving, again from the La Linia range, were specified alongside blue, as they complemented the designer’s colour scheme.
Working to a theme of transport, the designers used La Linia paving to create a railway track design running across the main entrance area – giving visitors to Corby a chance to ‘walk the line!’ This was achieved by recessing lengths of parallel stainless steel ‘track’ into the La Linia paving to mimic the appearance of a railway line.
La Linia is a combination of high quality concrete block and flag-textured paving. It is available in seven colours, all of which have a subtle textured surface that can be used to generate striking visual effects through both colour and form, as was apparent at Corby station. The range uses the latest mix technology, which allows the use of premium surface aggregates. It is suitable for any loading application, making it ideal for civil, retail and commercial applications. La Linia plan sizes can be combined to create limitless design possibilities - from simple to complex and traditional to contemporary.
Principal Landscape Architect Mark Ashton from WYG explains: “Marshalls paving was chosen for its aesthetics and enduring high quality, whilst we specifically chose La Linia because of the wide scope it offers in terms of design. As blue has for a long time been associated with Corby, integrating this colour paving helped us to maintain this connection with the town and complement its surroundings. The overall effect of the design for the entrance area is stunning, as it creates real impact, whilst remaining in keeping with the contemporary new building and the local area.”
Adrian Jones from North Northants Development Company, said: “It was important that we chose paving that would retain its appearance for the long term, as the train station is the first thing that passengers see when they arrive in the town. We could have chosen a more traditional design, but we felt that it was important to reflect create impact and reflect the contemporary theme of the station. The results are stunning and because of this, the paved area is being extended from the rail station right through to Corby town centre!”
He adds: “It is fantastic news that Corby has its own station after 40 years of waiting!” Marshalls also suplied standard slot drain to the project. Michael Ashley, Project Consultant for Marshalls, said: “The aesthetics of the paved area was all important on this project and the architect’s choice of three different colour finishes from the La Linia range was inspired, as it complements the look and function of the station building and reflects its contemporary appearance. The paving was completely bespoke to the project, in that this was the first time we have been asked to incorporate stainless steel strip into the design. However, it worked out really well and further enhanced its aesthetics and created a really unique design. It is very satisfying to learn that the paving is now being extended from the railway, right through to the town centre, encouraging people to reduce their carbon footprint by using public transport and walking, rather than travelling by car – all of which is thanks to the paving scheme!”
In addition to the paving, the architect specified Escofet Pedra Negra litter bins and U-shaped benches from Marshalls’ sister company Woodhouse. Both these products are made from reinforced cast stone and are acid etched and waterproofed to ensure longevity. The wooden slat bench tops are manufactured from treated hardwood to enhance longevity. Both products are extremely robust and their design makes use of clean, simple lines that are complementary to the contemporary design of the station. In addition, Woodhouse supplied a geo single sided ‘Keep Left’ sign from its extensive range of street furniture.
The architect also specified Marshalls’ S-Ramp - a pre-formed segmental sinusoidal profiled ramp system, which is acknowledged as giving the best ride-over quality for all vehicles, including buses and emergency vehicles. This Pre-Cast Reinforced concrete road hump provides an effective way to reduce speed transition from the carriageway to the surface of the road hump table top.
The durable construction of Marshalls’ S-Ramp means the system is low maintenance, reducing overall whole life costings.
Marshalls’ S-Ramp is available with either a pimple or textured finish in a range of colour options, to suit project requirements.
Corby Station is a flagship station in terms of paving design and is a great example of how the landscaped areas are an integral part of the overall design theme, which helps to engage visitors and add impact.
The architect cleverly incorporated three different colour finishes available within the La Linia range to create the railway track design around the entrance to the station. Marshalls’ incorporated its technical expertise and bespoke capabilties to make it possible to incorporate stainless steel ‘tracks’ into the design, making it complete bespoke to the building.
Corby Station is the epitome of good design and the landscaped area reflects the quality of the station build, whilst immediately setting the scene for visitors using the station. The overall effect has been to enhance the area, creating a bright modern image that reflects the true character of Corby.
The choice of robust, but eyecatching street furniture from Woodhouse provides both functional and aesthetic benefits, which are perfectly in keeping with the attractive, contemporary design of this flagship station building.