Taylor Woodrow has taken members of the public underground to reveal how one of Crossrail’s most prominent sites is progressing.
Everyone in London is familiar with the Crossrail and London Underground building site, which has already fundamentally changed this iconic corner of central London, previously home to the Astoria theatre and right next door to Centre Point.
Traffic has been diverted to accommodate the work and thousands of workers and shoppers pass the hoardings every day.
Curious to see on to the site itself, many of those attending Open Doors are just such people. One says she works up the road, another says he wants to see the site now so that when it’s finished he can tell people he came when it was being built.
But it’s not just Londoners on the site: several people have travelled from places as far as Scotland for a chance to see the project under construction.
And they’re in for a treat. Each group is given a presentation from TWBN project manager Mike Curran showing pictures of the work carried out to date and providing a commentary, before being given hat, gloves and glasses and heading out on site.
There are almost as many TWBN and supply chain staff on hand to conduct the tours as there are visitors, meaning we’re spoiled for attention and taken down in mini groups of no more than seven, with at least two ‘tour guides’.
This gives visitors a fantastic insight, as well as a feel for the TWBN employees’ passion for the project, and they ask as many questions as they like.
We’re not able to go right down into the deepest darkest depths of the tunnels, but we’re taken down to the bottom of what will be the escalator to reach the Northern line and able to see up close the tunnels we will one day walk down to get to the trains.
It’s exciting to stand on site, knowing there are Northern and Central line trains passing just metres below or beside us, that there are thousands of people passing through the existing ticket hall just on the other side of the wall in front of us and looking up out of the site to Centre Point looming above.
TWBN stakeholder manager Jack Lawrence says it’s a pleasure to show off the site. As a 24-hour, seven days a week operation on a tight site in central London, he doesn’t get to take people round as much as he’d like.
After the tour, visitors are encouraged to sign the guest book and take some literature about the project and construction careers, as well as a TCR mug and pencil.
Visitors’ enjoyment is palpable, with several approaching me to tell me how much they’ve enjoyed a glimpse behind the scenes of this iconic project.
Location Central London
Contractor Taylor Woodrow Bam Nuttall joint venture
Client London Underground
Project value £250m
Start date 2010
Completion date 2016