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Foster’s vision for Britain’s future infrastructure

The Thames Hub's design proposal by Foster+ Partners and Halcrow and Volterra. Rendering: Foster-+-Partners

The Thames Hub vision was launched by Foster + Partners and Halcrow and Volterra: A study to improve Britain’s infrastructure.

The British architecture office of Foster + Partners in partnership with the engineering firm Halcrow and Volterra developed a self-funded study of a detailed vision for the Thames Hub: A holistic vision for future infrastructure development in Britain that is unique for its scale and strategic cross-sector thinking.

The Spine is to connect rail, energy, communications and data running the length of the UK. Design proposal by Foster+ Partners and Halcrow and Volterra. Rendering: Foster-+-Partners

It is a known fact that Britain’s infrastructure is aged and inadequate for a fast-growing population in an evolving global economy.  To improve its quality and capacity dramatically, the study proposes to create a Spine that combines rail, energy, communications and data running the length of the United Kingdom.

Aerial view of the Thames Hub. Design proposal by Foster+ Partners and Halcrow and Volterra. Rendering: Foster-+-Partners

The central feature proposed by Foster + Partners and Halcrow and Volterra that will feed the Spine is the Thames Hub: It will bring together a new river barrier and crossing, an international airport, and a shipping and rail complex. The intention of creating the Thames Hub is to put in place transport connections to maximize trade links with the rest of the world, to create jobs across the UK and to balance the economy between North and South – i.e., to generally create a basis for the future prosperity of Britain.

Integrated Thames Barrier as part of the Thames Hub study. Design proposal by Foster+ Partners and Halcrow and Volterra. Rendering: Foster-+-Partners

Proposed airport as part of the Thames Hub study. Design proposal by Foster+ Partners and Halcrow and Volterra. Rendering: Foster-+-Partners

High speed-rail as part of the Thames Hub study. Design proposal by Foster+ Partners and Halcrow and Volterra. Rendering: Foster-+-Partners

Norman Foster explained, “If we are to establish a modern transport and energy infrastructure in Britain for this century and beyond, we need to recapture the foresight and political courage of our 19th century forebears and draw on our traditions of engineering, design and landscape. If we don’t then we are denying future generations to come. We are rolling over and saying we are no longer competitive – and this is a competitive world. So I do not believe we have a choice.”

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DETAIL 7+8/2020
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