Ventilation and escape shafts for London Underground
A set of five ventilation shafts and ventilation / escape shafts by Ian Ritchie Architects for the Jubilee Line extension in 1993 end on the surface in various ways, sometimes secretly, each particular to their necessary location, expedient availabilities directly above eastbound and westbound tunnels within one kilometre intervals between London Bridge and Canary Wharf.
To welcome the new tube line and celebrate its regenerative effect on the areas it serves, each underground shaft and shaft top is unique, and precisely designed to perform its particular function set in its own specific urban context.
Each box is named after its location on the surface, on sensitive sites which were all chosen and compulsorily purchased through an act of parliament with distant regard for the future detailed design considerations of precise context. Druid Street (ventilation and escape), Ben Smith Way (Bermondsey Station – ventilation and escape), Culling Road (ventilation), Downtown Road (escape), Durrands Wharf, (ventilation and floodgates), Pioneer Wharf (escape).
The sixty-year lifetime briefs for the deep concrete shafts and their mechanical tops were extremely detailed and precise, ventilation grilles, mechanical and electrical plant, maintenance and replacement access, double helix escape stairs etc. To complement the high design quality of the stations, not one shaft uses conventional and familiar small-louvre technology.
Instead, the realised designs are highly varied, spectacular and sensitive to their individual locales. Each has an individual approach to material, thick copper bands, basalt aggregate polished concrete, creamy cast concrete, stainless woven meshes, painted steel plate.
Service: Ian Ritchie Architects
Location: Bermondsey, Rotherhithe, Canary Wharf
Client: JLE – TFL
Areas: XX m2