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Railway Arch Loughborough Junction

Low cost modular solutions for railway arch refurbishment

The Brief

Meanwhile Space with partners have identified the need for a solution to underused railway arches that without initial physical intervention will not be occupiable.  Often the arches that are available are in a poor state of repair and to date the cost and complexity of bringing them up to a reasonable standard outweighs the income that they could generate.

Proposals are invited which maximise a limited budget to deliver a design solution which responds to the different sizes and conditions of individual arch spaces, and can be redeployed to other arches when required.  


In essence the winning proposals should seek to: 

  • Be free-standing – not attaching to the structure of the the arch in any way, while maximizing the void space to it’s full potential 

  • Provide security – front and rear infill/door solutions 

  • Provide a warm and dry space including keeping water ingress out where units are unlined, and floor standings 

  • Provide a plug in solution for power and lighting at the front of the unit. 

  • Provide a simple, low cost, yet high quality designs for the frontage and interior fit-out for a variety of workspace requirements, including the potential to divide into multiple units within one space. 

  • Have the potential to be easily repeatable in other similar sites and thus providing a solution to the occupation of unusable arches.  

  • Be possible to relocate/reinstall in another site in the future is desirable 

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The winning design


The Arches Design Challenge saw a number of interesting entries and proposals with the project being awarded to Boana Prismontas who subsequently completed the Phase 1 of their prototyping by building two complete kit of parts in Arch 500 and 510 Ridgway Road, SW9.  

Their design was chosen as it is freestanding, provides a secure space internally, creates a warm and dry space, it is demountable and repeatable, and most importantly the design can be achieved in under £10,000 per arch, depending on the arch size and the chosen range of internal finishes.  

The design is flexible enough to change to suit different arch shapes (tall, narrow, double length etc), making it an attractive choice to deal with an array of difficult arches and undercrofts nationwide. The design is also fully demountable, can be compactly stored (20 kit of parts could be stored in a single arch) and be moved to another location should the landlord require the arch back for further redevelopment. Once all the CNC cut timber, polycarbonate facades and insulation are on site, the construction of an arch can be completed in 2 weeks making it quick and cost effective to redeploy.   


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