A pair of tower blocks are set to be demolished at London’s Euston station as works ramp up to make way for High Speed 2 (HS2).
The demolition of the towers, One Euston Square and Grant Thornton House, was previously prevented as they stood over the top of the entrance and exit to the original underground taxi rank.
However, the taxi rank has been relocated to a temporary location at the front of the station, meaning the 1970s towers can now be demolished.
The demolition of the towers is expected to take around 10 months to complete and is being carried out by HS2’s early works contractor, a Costain and Skanska joint venture (CSjv), working with subcontractors McGee.
Work has already begun to strip out the interiors and erect scaffolding to support acoustic screening around the buildings.
HS2 said the screening will cover the towers and is designed to limit noise and dust with 93% of the material from the building set to be recycled or reused.
Demolition will take place floor by floor, with waste material removed via the building’s lift shafts.
HS2 London programme director Rob Carr said: “HS2 will transform Euston, delivering much-needed extra capacity and better journeys for the 44M people who use the station every year. We are already hard at work, delivering essential pre-construction work, including archaeology, utility diversions and of course, the demolition of the two Euston towers.
“The opening of the new temporary taxi rank is a significant milestone for the project and I would like to thank everyone involved in making it happen.”
CSjv programme director Peter Jones added: “Costain and Skanska have successfully delivered many major infrastructure projects and are pleased to be delivering the HS2 enabling works programme in London. Our work continues to gather pace and constructing this temporary taxi rank to replace the underground taxi rank is vital to allow us to demolish the two large office towers at Euston.”
The new taxi rank has capacity for around 40 vehicles and has been designed to incorporate as many of the existing trees as possible, with special measures including permeable pavement and root protection in place HS2 said.
A permanent location for the taxi rank is currently under consultation. In November last year, a design development document was released which said that the taxi rank is currently planned to run to the north of the station.
However HS2 said a consequence of this would mean the public realm would then be at a higher level. At the time it said the placement of the taxi rank would now be subject to a more detailed analysis as the design progressed.
The design of the public realm around the newly revamped station has been a contentious issue. In November, calls were made for the walking route between HS1 and HS2 to be “sorted out” and in September last year, concerns were raised again about the lack of design and funding co-ordination to link the existing Network Rail and HS2 sides of the station.
In October last year, the site of the new HS2 approach tunnels into the station was revealed after work to demolish a former carriage shed was completed.
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