Custom House Station is one of the 10 new stations in London for the Elizabeth Line. It is the only Crossrail above-ground station, and is on a tightly constrained site. The project involved a new station, predominantly in pre-cast concrete elements. Ramboll made the design more buildable and project managed the contractor's design team overseeing 12 separate design disciplines.
Station design for a new interchange and destination
The station design features very high quality specification ETFE (Ethylene tetrafluoroethylene) canopy pillow roof, whilst below concourse level precast coffered slabs create a stylish design feature at platform level. The design is in three parts:
- A new 24 hour public route from Custom House to ExCel and the Royal Docks via the construction of three new bridges; two over the DLR to link the ExCeL walkways and the other over the Victoria Dock Road
- The Crossrail station itself; an elevated concourse above an island platform formed in precast concrete with steel- framed canopy and roof structures
- A two-storey building that forms the station entrance
Located in East London and only one stop on the Dockland Light Railway (DLR) from Canary Wharf, the new station at Custom House welcomes regional and international visitors to London’s largest conference centre ExCel. The station replaces the disused North London Line station and creates a transport interchange with DLR and local buses, providing further benefits such as enabling reduced journey times at ExCel and London City Airport.
The station provides a focus for the regeneration of the wider and local areas, which comprise mostly 1960s brick-built terraced houses and mixed tenure low-rise flats of between three and four storeys, in line with London Borough of Newham’s aspirations and the Canning Town and Custom House Masterplan.
Working as the lead consultant for Laing O’Rourke, Ramboll led completion of the contractor’s design at Custom House. We provided civil and structural engineering, architecture, mechanical, electrical and public health engineering, fire consultancy, ecology, urban realm design, facade engineering, geotechnical services and managed design assurance.
Digital design and off-site construction
We worked closely with Crossrail to integrate the complex project’s developing needs into the detailed design. We applied digital design technologies together with offsite construction techniques to bring our clients unparalleled insights allowing them to unlock potential, mitigate risks and create increased value.
Custom House is a heavily constrained site bounded by the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) and Victoria Dock Road. Furthermore, during construction, overhead high-voltage power lines and a pedestrian crossing had to be maintained across the site and also across neighbouring construction sites for other Crossrail projects.
We used Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA) principles to improve buildability of the station frame. This involved the novel concept of an exposed precast concrete structural frame and a 'kit of part's approach.
Off-site precast concrete manufacturing significantly simplified construction, saved time, improved quality and increased safety. The 887 station components were installed using a purpose-built 35t gantry crane.
Custom House station was completed in 2016 and has been designed for a 120 year design life.